Author(s): Li Y, Bckesj CM, Haldosn LA, Lindgren U
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Abstract Studies of the effects of interleukin-6 on osteoblasts have yielded conflicting results. In several earlier in vitro studies it has been stated that IL-6 has no effects on osteoblasts unless soluble IL-6 receptor is added. These results are contradictory to the fact that IL-6 receptors are expressed in osteoblasts in vivo. In this study, MC3T3 preosteoblast cells and rat bone marrow stromal cells were cultured in bone inducing medium containing ascorbic acid, beta-glycerophosphate or dexamethasone. We found that IL-6 receptor expression increased in both types of cells during in vitro differentiation. Furthermore in MC3T3 cells IL-6 decreased proliferation and enhanced expression of two osteoblast-specific differentiation markers, Runx2 and osteocalcin, in proper sequential order. Interestingly, in both cell types IL-6-induced apoptosis only in later culture stages. We also found in MC3T3 cells that IL-6 induced STAT3 activation was significantly higher in later culture stages, i.e. when IL-6 receptor expression was high. The present study shows that IL-6 receptor expression increases during in vitro osteoblast differentiation and that IL-6 functions as a differentiation regulator of preosteoblast cells and an apoptosis initiator in more mature cells.
This article was published in Cytokine
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