Skeletal turnover is orchestrated by a complex network of regulatory factors. Lately, regulation of bone metabolism through neuro-osteological interactions has been proposed. Here, we address the question whether IL-6 production can be affected by interactions between the neuropeptide VIP and proinflammatory, bone-resorbing cytokines. By using calvarial osteoblasts, we showed that IL-1beta increased IL-6 production time- and concentration-dependently, and that these effects were potentiated by VIP. Furthermore, IL-1beta stimulated IL-6 promoter activity in the osteoblastic cell line MC3T3-E1 stably transfected with a human IL-6 promoter/luciferase construct, and both VIP, and the related neuropeptide PACAP-38, increased the effect of IL-1beta in a synergistic manner. The IL-6 protein release from calvarial osteoblasts was also stimulated by the osteoclastogenic, proinflammatory cytokines IL-11, LIF, OSM, IL-17, TGF-beta, and TNF-alpha. All effects, except for that of TNF-alpha, were synergistically potentiated by VIP. These findings further support the role of neuropeptides, and the presence of neuro-immunological interactions, in bone metabolism.
2005. Vol. 335, no 3, 705-711 p.