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Oncostatin M (OSM) and leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) are IL-6 family members with a wide range of biological functions. Human OSM (hOSM) and murine LIF (mLIF) act in mouse cells via a LIF receptor (LIFR)-glycoprotein 130 (gp130) heterodimer. In contrast, murine OSM (mOSM) signals mainly via an OSM receptor (OSMR)-gp130 heterodimer and binds with only very low affinity to mLIFR. hOSM and mLIF stimulate bone remodeling by both reducing osteocytic sclerostin and up-regulating the pro-osteoclastic factor receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) in osteoblasts. In the absence of OSMR, mOSM still strongly suppressed sclerostin and stimulated bone formation but did not induce RANKL, suggesting that intracellular signaling activated by the low affinity interaction of mOSM with mLIFR is different from the downstream effects when mLIF or hOSM interacts with the same receptor. Both STAT1 and STAT3 were activated by mOSM in wild type cells or by mLIF/hOSM in wild type and Osmr cells. In contrast, in Osmr primary osteocyte-like cells stimulated with mOSM (therefore acting through mLIFR), microarray expression profiling and Western blotting analysis identified preferential phosphorylation of STAT3 and induction of its target genes but not of STAT1 and its target genes; this correlated with reduced phosphorylation of both gp130 and LIFR. In a mouse model of spontaneous osteopenia caused by hyperactivation of STAT1/3 signaling downstream of gp130 (gp130), STAT1 deletion rescued the osteopenic phenotype, indicating a beneficial effect of promoting STAT3 signaling over STAT1 downstream of gp130 in this low bone mass condition, and this may have therapeutic value.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) is a soluble interleukin-6 family cytokine that regulates a number of physiologic functions, including normal skeletal remodeling. LIF signals through the cytokine co-receptor glycoprotein-130 in complex with its cytokine-specific receptor [LIF receptor (LIFR)] to activate signaling cascades in cells of the skeletal system, including stromal cells, chondrocytes, osteoblasts, osteocytes, adipocytes, and synovial fibroblasts. LIF action on skeletal cells is cell-type specific, and frequently dependent on the state of cell differentiation. This review describes the expression patterns of LIF and LIFR in bone, their regulation by physiological and inflammatory agents, as well as cell-specific influences of LIF on osteoblast, osteoclast, chondrocyte, and adipocyte differentiation. The actions of LIF in normal skeletal growth and maintenance, in pathological states (e.g. autocrine tumor cell signaling and growth in bone) and inflammatory conditions (e.g. arthritis) will be discussed, as well as the signaling pathways activated by LIF and their importance in bone formation and resorption.