The macrophage capability to recognize bacterial DNA is mimicked by oligodeoxynucleotides containing unmethylated CG dinucleotides ('CpG' motifs) in specific sequence contexts (CpG ODN). CpG ODN stimulates NF-κB activation in murine macrophages. In light of the pivotal role played by NF-κB in osteoclast differentiation, we examined the ability of CpG ODN to modulate osteoclastogenesis. CpG ODN alone induced TRAP-positive cells in bone marrow macrophage (BMM) cultures, but not multinucleation or calcitonin receptor expression. CpG ODN inhibited RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis when present from the beginning of BMM culture, but strongly increased RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis in RANKL-pre-treated BMMs. CpG ODN enhanced the expression of interleukin 1β (IL-1β) and tumor necrosis factor (TNF-α). Antibodies to TNF-α and the TNF type 1 receptor, but not the addition of IL-1 receptor antagonist, blocked CpG ODN-induced osteoclastogenesis in RANKL-pretreated cultures. On the other hand, CpG ODN reduced expression of the M-CSF receptor, which is critical during the initiation of osteoclast differentiation. These results suggest that CpG ODN, via the induction of TNF-α, support osteoclastogenesis in cells that are committed to the osteoclast differentiation pathway but, due to down-modulation of M-CSF receptor, inhibit early steps of osteoclast differentiation. Thus, CpG ODN represents a potential therapeutic tool for treating bone diseases.
- Immunostimulatory oligodexynucleotide