Human osteoclasts and osteoclast-like cells synthesize and release high basal and inflammatory stimulated levels of the potent chemokine interleukin-8

Endocrinology. 1998 Oct;139(10):4353-63. doi: 10.1210/endo.139.10.6247.


Chemokines, including interleukin-8 (IL-8), function as key mediators in diverse inflammatory disorders via promoting the recruitment, proliferation, and activation of vascular and immune cells. IL-8 levels are elevated in inflammatory diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, osteoarthritis, osteomyelitis, and periodontal disease, that also exhibit progressive bone loss. Therefore, it is possible that IL-8 contributes to the osteopenia associated with these pathological conditions. Although macrophages, neutrophils, and endothelial cells are considered the primary sources of inflammation-induced IL-8 increases, we report here for the first time that human bone marrow-derived osteoclast-like cells (hOCL) as well as authentic bone-resorbing human osteoclasts (hOC) isolated from osteoporotic femoral heads express messenger RNA (mRNA) for IL-8 and secrete high levels of IL-8 during culture. Basal IL-8 release by cultured hOC or hOCL was orders of magnitude greater than the release of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1beta, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor-alpha. At a cellular level, in situ hybridization analysis revealed that IL-8 mRNA was expressed in resorbing hOC of rheumatoid arthritic pannus and was substantially greater than that expressed in hOC of noninflammatory giant cell tumor of bone tissue. Therefore, the potential inflammation-mediated induction of IL-8 was directly assessed using cultured hOCL. IL-8 release was stimulated by proinflammatory signals (IL-1alpha, tumor necrosis factor-alpha, lipopolysaccharide, or phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate), unaffected by various other osteotropic modulators (transforming growth factor-beta1 and -beta3, IL-6, 17beta-estradiol, or calcitonin) and was decreased by interferon-gamma, vitamin D3, and the antiinflammatory glucocorticoid dexamethasone. Changes in IL-8 secretion were paralleled by corresponding changes in IL-8 mRNA steady state levels. We conclude that hOC and hOCL synthesize and secrete high constitutive and inflammation-stimulated levels of the chemokine IL-8. Consequently, hOC-derived IL-8 could act as an important regulatory signal for bone, vascular, and immune cell recruitment and activation during normal and pathological bone remodeling.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Calcitriol / pharmacology
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Dexamethasone / pharmacology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-8 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-8 / genetics
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis


  • Interleukin-8
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Dexamethasone
  • Calcitriol