Interleukin-6 (IL-6) family cytokines act via gp130 in the osteoblast lineage to stimulate the formation of osteoclasts (bone resorbing cells) and the activity of osteoblasts (bone forming cells), and to inhibit expression of the osteocyte protein, sclerostin. We report here that a profound reduction in trabecular bone mass occurs both when gp130 is deleted in the entire osteoblast lineage (Osx1Cre gp130 f/f) and when this deletion is restricted to osteocytes (DMP1Cre gp130 f/f). This was caused not by an alteration in osteoclastogenesis, but by a low level of bone formation specific to the trabecular compartment. In contrast, cortical diameter increased to maintain ultimate bone strength, despite a reduction in collagen type 1 production. We conclude that osteocytic gp130 signaling is required for normal trabecular bone mass and proper cortical bone composition.
© 2014 American Society for Bone and Mineral Research.