Involvement of ERK and p38 MAPK pathways on Interleukin-33-induced RANKL expression in osteoblastic cells



The receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL)/osteoprotegerin (OPG) system is a well-known key factor in osteoclast differentiation, and osteoblastic lineage cells are the major sources of RANKL and OPG in local bone tissue. Recently, a new molecule from the interleukin (IL)-1 family, IL-33, was identified. Here, we report the possible involvement of IL-33 in RANKL and OPG expression, and the signaling pathways that are required for maximal IL-33-induced RANKL expression in MC3T3-E1 osteoblastic cells. Stimulation with IL-33 increased the mRNA expression and secretion of RANKL in MC3T3-E1 cells. The IL-33-induced RANKL mRNA expression was inhibited by an anti-IL-33 monoclonal antibody. Furthermore, ERK and p38 MAPK inhibitors, but not a JNK inhibitor, suppressed IL-33-induced RANKL mRNA expression. On the other hand, IL-33 had no effect on OPG mRNA expression and protein secretion. These results taken together suggest that IL-33 stimulates RANKL expression through mechanisms dependent on the ERK and p38 MAPK pathways in MC3T3-E1 cells.