Osteocytes are abundant cells in bone, which contribute to bone maintenance. Osteocytes express receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) and regulate osteoclast formation. Orthodontic tooth movement (OTM) occurs by osteoclast resorption of alveolar bone. Osteocyte-derived RANKL is critical in bone resorption during OTM. Additionally, tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α) is important in osteoclastogenesis during OTM. Sclerostin has been reported to enhance RANKL expression in the MLO-Y4 osteocyte-like cell line. This study investigated the effect of TNF-α on sclerostin expression in osteocytes during OTM. In vitro analysis of primary osteocytes, which were isolated from DMP1-Topaz mice by sorting the Topaz variant of GFP-positive cells, revealed that SOST mRNA expression was increased when osteocytes were cultured with TNF-α and that RANKL mRNA expression was increased when osteocytes were cultured with sclerostin. Moreover, the number of TRAPpositive cells was increased in osteocytes and osteoclast precursors cocultured with sclerostin. In vivo analysis of mouse calvariae that had been subcutaneously injected with phosphate-buffered saline (PBS) or TNF-α revealed that the number of TRAPpositive cells and the percentage of sclerostin-positive osteocytes were higher in the TNF-α group than in the PBS group. Furthermore, the level of SOST mRNA was increased by TNF-α. As an OTM model, a Ni-Ti closed-coil spring connecting the upper incisors and upper-left first molar was placed to move the first molar to the mesial direction in wild-Type (WT) mice and TNF receptor 1-and 2-deficient (TNFRsKO) mice. After 6 days of OTM, the percentage of sclerostin-positive osteocytes on the compression side of the first molar in TNFRsKO mice was lower than that in WT mice. In this study, TNF-α increased sclerostin expression in osteocytes, and sclerostin enhanced RANKL expression in osteocytes. Thus, TNF-α may play an important role in sclerostin expression in osteocytes and enhance osteoclast formation during OTM.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Immunology and Allergy