Osteoprotegerin (OPG) is a recently cloned soluble member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor family. OPG has been shown to inhibit osteoclast recruitment by binding to OPG-ligand, an osteoclast differentiating factor on osteoblastic stromal cells, thereby blocking osteoclastogenesis. In this report we have examined the effect of tumor necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) and tumor necrosis factor-beta (TNF-beta) on OPG mRNA levels in the human osteosarcoma cell line MG-63. We demonstrate that both TNF-alpha and TNF-beta dose- and time-dependently upregulate the mRNA levels of OPG. The effect is significant at and above 5 pM of TNF-alpha and 1 pM of TNF-beta. The stimulatory effect on OPG mRNA levels in MG-63 cells was detected after 2 hrs of incubation with TNF-alpha or TNF-beta. These data demonstrate that the expression of OPG in osteoblasts, with subsequent effects on osteoclastogenesis, is regulated by TNFs.