Skip to main content
  • Poster presentation
  • Open access
  • Published:

Osteoprotegerin induction in response to microbial infection

Osteoprotegeirn (OPG) is an endogenous decoy receptor for RANKL, which is a cytokine essential for osteoclast differentiation. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is known to induce osteoclast formation when injected onto calvaria in mice. Unexpectedly, we observed that mice injected with LPS up-regulate OPG and down-regulate RANKL levels in peripheral blood.

In the present study, we examined whether OPG is induced by microbial infection of various kinds, and the sites and significance of OPG production in infected mice. Wild-type mice infected withSalmonella, Staphylococcus, Mycobacteria or influenza virus showed increase in OPG levels in peripheral blood. We also found that the levels of OPG in serum of human patients infected with M. tuberculosis and M. avium were significantly increased. Moreover, injection of mice with LPS induced OPG production specifically in lymph nodes, especially in high endothelial venule (HEV)cells, but not in other organs. OPG production was suppressed in c-Fos-deficient mice and enhanced in Fra-1 transgenic mice, indicating that OPG production is regulated by AP-1 transcription factors. Loss of OPG in mice did not affect either their survival or Salmonella proliferation in spleen and liver after infection with virulent strains of Salmonella. Interestingly, however, when wild-type mice were infected with an avirulent Salmonella strain, which can induce OPG, osteoclast development was suppressed and bone mineral density was increased. These data reveal for the first time that lymph nodes protect bones from infection-induced bone loss through OPG production.

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Rights and permissions

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License, which permits use, sharing, adaptation, distribution and reproduction in any medium or format, as long as you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons licence, and indicate if changes were made. The images or other third party material in this article are included in the article's Creative Commons licence, unless indicated otherwise in a credit line to the material. If material is not included in the article's Creative Commons licence and your intended use is not permitted by statutory regulation or exceeds the permitted use, you will need to obtain permission directly from the copyright holder. To view a copy of this licence, visit The Creative Commons Public Domain Dedication waiver ( applies to the data made available in this article, unless otherwise stated in a credit line to the data.

Reprints and permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Takada, Y., Matsuo, K. Osteoprotegerin induction in response to microbial infection. Arthritis Res Ther 14 (Suppl 1), P67 (2012).

Download citation

  • Published:

  • DOI: