Combination of interleukin-6 and soluble interleukin-6 receptors induces differentiation and activation of JAK-STAT and MAP kinase pathways in MG-63 human osteoblastic cells

R Nishimura, K Moriyama, K Yasukawa, G R Mundy, T Yoneda
Journal of Bone and Mineral Research 1998, 13 (5): 777-85
Studies on the role of interleukin-6 (IL-6) in bone metabolism have been accumulating. However, its effects on osteoblasts are still unclear because the results are conflicting depending on the study models employed. We reasoned that these conflicting data are due to variable expression levels of membrane-bound IL-6 receptors (IL-6Rs). In the present study, we found that IL-6 in combination with soluble IL-6R (sIL-6R) consistently caused a marked elevation of alkaline phosphatase and a decrease in proliferation in the human osteoblastic cell line MG-63, which expressed no detectable membrane-bound IL-6R and failed to respond to IL-6. These effects of IL-6/sIL-6R were blocked by neutralizing antibodies to the IL-6 signal transducer gp130, suggesting an involvement of IL-6 signaling in the elicitation of the effects of IL-6/sIL-6R. Upon stimulation with IL-6/sIL-6R, the gp130, cytoplasmic Janus kinases JAK1 and JAK2 were tyrosine phosphorylated. Moreover, signal transducers and activators of transcription STAT1 and STAT3 were also tyrosine phosphorylated, translocated to the nucleus, and bound to the putative STAT-binding DNA elements. In addition, mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase was also activated in response to IL-6/sIL-6R These data demonstrate that sIL-6R may enhance the responsiveness of MG-63 cells to IL-6. Thus, IL-6 in collaboration with sIL-6R may modulate differentiation and proliferation of osteoblastic cells, presumably by activating two distinct signaling pathways of JAK-STAT and MAP kinase.

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