Research Article

MicroRNA-338-3p inhibits glucocorticoid-induced osteoclast formation through RANKL targeting

Published: August 26, 2016
Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr7674 DOI: https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15037674
Cite this Article:
(2016). MicroRNA-338-3p inhibits glucocorticoid-induced osteoclast formation through RANKL targeting. Genet. Mol. Res. 15(3): gmr7674. https://doi.org/10.4238/gmr.15037674
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Abstract

The differentiation deficiencies of osteoclast precursors (pre-OCs) may contribute to osteoporosis. Research on osteoporosis has recently focused on microRNAs (miRNAs) that play crucial roles in pre-OC differentiation. In the current study, we aimed to analyze the expression and function of the glucocorticoid (GC)-associated miRNA-338-3p (miR-338-3p) in osteoclast formation. We found that dexamethasone induced osteoclast differentiation and inhibited miR-338-3p expression. Overexpression of an miR-338-3p mimic in osteoclast precursor cells attenuated GC-induced osteoclast formation and bone resorption, whereas inhibition of miR-338-3p reversed these effects. The expression of the nuclear factor κB ligand RANKL, a potential target gene of miR-338-3p, was inversely correlated with miR-338-3p expression in pre-OCs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that RANKL was directly regulated by miR-338-3p and re-introduction of RANKL reversed the inhibitory effects of miR-338-3p on osteoclast formation and bone resorption. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that miR-338-3p may play a significant role in GC-induced osteoclast differentiation and function by targeting RANKL in osteoclasts.

The differentiation deficiencies of osteoclast precursors (pre-OCs) may contribute to osteoporosis. Research on osteoporosis has recently focused on microRNAs (miRNAs) that play crucial roles in pre-OC differentiation. In the current study, we aimed to analyze the expression and function of the glucocorticoid (GC)-associated miRNA-338-3p (miR-338-3p) in osteoclast formation. We found that dexamethasone induced osteoclast differentiation and inhibited miR-338-3p expression. Overexpression of an miR-338-3p mimic in osteoclast precursor cells attenuated GC-induced osteoclast formation and bone resorption, whereas inhibition of miR-338-3p reversed these effects. The expression of the nuclear factor κB ligand RANKL, a potential target gene of miR-338-3p, was inversely correlated with miR-338-3p expression in pre-OCs. Furthermore, we demonstrated that RANKL was directly regulated by miR-338-3p and re-introduction of RANKL reversed the inhibitory effects of miR-338-3p on osteoclast formation and bone resorption. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that miR-338-3p may play a significant role in GC-induced osteoclast differentiation and function by targeting RANKL in osteoclasts.