IL-6 alters osteocyte signaling toward osteoblasts but not osteoclasts

A.D. Bakker, R.N. Kulkarni, J. Klein-Nulend, W.F. Lems

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

65 Citations (Scopus)


Mechanosensitive osteocytes regulate bone mass in adults. Interleukin 6 (IL-6), such as present during orthodontic tooth movement, also strongly affects bone mass, but little is known about the effect of IL-6 on osteocyte function. Therefore we aimed to determine in vitro whether IL-6 affects osteocyte mechanosensitivity, and osteocyte regulation of osteoclastogenesis and osteoblast differentiation. MLO-Y4 osteocytes were incubated with/without IL-6 (1 or 10 pg/mL) for 24 hr. Subsequently, osteocytes were subjected to mechanical loading by pulsating fluid flow (PFF) for 1 hr. Mouse osteoclast precursors were cultured for 7 days on top of IL-6-treated osteocytes. Conditioned medium from osteocytes treated with/without IL-6 was added to MC3T3-E1 pre-osteoblasts for 14 days. Exogenous IL-6 (10 pg/mL) did not alter the osteocyte response to PFF. PFF significantly enhanced IL-6 production by osteocytes. IL-6 enhanced Rankl expression but reduced caspase 3/7 activity by osteocytes, and therefore did not affect osteocyte-stimulated osteoclastogenesis. Conditioned medium from IL-6-treated osteocytes reduced alkaline phosphatase (ALP) activity and Runx2 expression in osteoblasts, but increased expression of the proliferation marker Ki67 and osteocalcin. Our results suggest that IL-6 is produced by shear-loaded osteocytes and that IL-6 may affect bone mass by modulating osteocyte communication toward osteoblasts.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)394-399
JournalJournal of Dental Research
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014

Cite this