Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) is a potent bone resorbing factor. We investigated the effect of LPS on osteoclast formation in three types of cultures. LPS inhibited osteoclast formation induced by 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1,25(OH)2D3], in a dose-dependent manner, in cultures of whole bone marrow cells without dexamethasone. LPS increased the amount of granulocyte- macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in the culture supernatant, and anti-GM-CSF antiserum almost abolished the inhibition of osteoclast formation by LPS, thereby indicating that GM-CSF generated by treatment with LPS may be responsible for the inhibition of osteoclast formation. In cultures with dexamethasone, the amount of GM-CSF was decreased to one-third of that with 1,25(OH)2D3 alone and was not changed by treatment with LPS. In this culture system, LPS enhanced osteoclast formation. In the coculture system of nonadherent bone marrow cells and a stromal cell line in the presence of 1,25(OH)2D3 and dexamethasone, where no detectable GM-CSF was present in the supernatant, LPS markedly enhanced osteoclast formation, whereas exogenously added GM-CSF (100 pg/ml) almost completely inhibited osteoclast formation. LPS stimulated pit formation on dentin slices by the osteoclast- like cells formed by in vitro culture system.
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