Osteogenic Protein-1 and interleukin-6 with its soluble receptor synergistically stimulate rat osteoblastic cell differentiation

Lee Chuan Carol Yeh, Michelle C. Zavala, John C. Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

39 Scopus citations


Osteogenic Protein-1 (OP-1, BMP-7), a member of the bone morphogenetic protein family, stimulates synthesis of biochemical markers characteristic of the osteoblastic and chondrocytic phenotypes and induces new bone formation. Interleukin-6 (IL-6), a cytokine produced by a wide variety of cells, appears to interact with other factors producing different biological effects. In the present study, we showed that OP-1 action in fetal rat calvaria (FRC) cells was enhanced by the combination of IL-6 and the soluble receptor IL-6sR. OP-1 alone induced alkaline phosphatase (AP) activity by 4- to 5-fold above the control. Exogenous IL-6 soluble receptor (IL-6sR) synergistically stimulated the OP-1-induced AP activity and mineralized bone nodule formation by an additional 3-fold. The stimulation was IL-6sR concentration-dependent. The combination of IL-6 and IL-6sR synergistically stimulated OP-1 action by an additional 6- to 7-fold. BMPR-II receptor mRNA expression in FRC cells treated with OP-1 and IL-6 plus IL-6sR was stimulated further, while BMPR-IA, -IB, and ActR-I expressions were not affected. The intracellular signaling molecules Smad2 and Smad5 mRNA expressions were not changed under these conditions. The expression of selected BMP family members (BMP-3, -4, and -6) was altered in FRC cells treated with OP-1 in combination with IL-6 and IL-6sR. The combination of IL-6 and IL-6sR reduced the OP-1-stimulated BMP-3 mRNA levels and enhanced the suppressive effect of OP-1 on BMP-4 and -6 mRNA expressions. In conclusion, the present results demonstrate that exogenous IL-6 and IL-6sR synergistically stimulate OP-1 action in primary cultures of rat osteoblastic cells. One possible mechanism of synergy involves differential regulation of the effects of OP-1 on the expression of the type II BMP receptor and several other BMPs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)322-331
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Feb 11 2002

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Clinical Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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