TNF and RANKL mediate bone destruction in common bone diseases, including osteoarthritis and RA. They activate NF-κB canonical signaling directly in osteoclast precursors (OCPs) to induce osteoclast formation in vitro. However, unlike RANKL, TNF does not activate the alternative NF-κB pathway efficiently to process the IκB protein NF-κB p100 to NF-κB p52, nor does it appear to induce osteoclast formation in vivo in the absence of RANKL. Here, we show that TNF limits RANKL- and TNF-induced osteoclast formation in vitro and in vivo by increasing NF-κB p100 protein accumulation in OCPs. In contrast, TNF induced robust osteoclast formation in vivo in mice lacking RANKL or RANK when the mice also lacked NF-κB p100, and TNF-Tg mice lacking NF-κB p100 had more severe joint erosion and inflammation than did TNF-Tg littermates. TNF, but not RANKL, increased OCP expression of TNF receptor–associated factor 3 (TRAF3), an adapter protein that regulates NF-κB p100 levels in B cells. TRAF3 siRNA prevented TNF-induced NF-κB p100 accumulation and inhibition of osteoclastogenesis. These findings suggest that upregulation of TRAF3 or NF-κB p100 expression or inhibition of NF-κB p100 degradation in OCPs could limit bone destruction and inflammation-induced bone loss in common bone diseases.
Zhenqiang Yao, Lianping Xing, Brendan F. Boyce
TNF-induced expression of NF-κB p100 inhibits osteoclastogenesis.