Estrogen deficiency induces bone loss by upregulating osteoclastogenesis by mechanisms not completely defined. We found that ovariectomy-enhanced T-cell production of TNF-α, which, acting through the TNF-α receptor p55, augments macrophage colony-stimulating factor–induced (M-CSF–induced) and RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis. Ovariectomy failed to induce bone loss, stimulate bone resorption, or increase M-CSF– and RANKL-dependent osteoclastogenesis in T-cell deficient mice, establishing T cells as essential mediators of the bone-wasting effects of estrogen deficiency in vivo. These findings demonstrate that the ability of estrogen to target T cells, suppressing their production of TNF-α, is a key mechanism by which estrogen prevents osteoclastic bone resorption and bone loss.
Simone Cenci, M. Neale Weitzmann, Cristiana Roggia, Noriyuki Namba, Deborah Novack, Jessica Woodring, Roberto Pacifici