The loss of STAT3 in mature osteoclasts has detrimental effects on bone structure

Rebecca K. Davidson, Evan R. Himes, Shinya Takigawa, Andy Chen, M. Ryne Horn, Tomas Meijome, Joseph M. Wallace, Melissa A. Kacena, Hiroki Yokota, Andrew V. Nguyen, Jiliang Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (STAT3) has recently been shown to be involved in bone development and has been implicated in bone diseases, such as Job's Syndrome. Bone growth and changes have been known for many years to differ between sexes with male bones tending to have higher bone mass than female bones and older females tending to lose bone mass at faster rates than older males. Previous studies using conditional knock mice with Stat3 specifically deleted from the osteoblasts showed both sexes exhibited decreased bone mineral density (BMD) and strength. Using the Cre-Lox system with Cathepsin K promotor driving Cre to target the deletion of the Stat3 gene in mature osteoclasts (STAT3-cKO mice), we observed that 8-week old STAT3-cKO female femurs exhibited significantly lower BMD and bone mineral content (BMC) compared to littermate control (CN) females. There were no differences in BMD and BMC observed between male knock-out and male CN femurs. However, micro-computed tomography (μCT) analysis showed that both male and female STAT3-cKO mice had significant decreases in bone volume/tissue volume (BV/TV). Bone histomorphometry analysis of the distal femur, further revealed a decrease in bone formation rate and mineralizing surface/ bone surface (MS/BS) with a significant decrease in osteoclast surface in female, but not male, STAT3-cKO mice. Profiling gene expression in an osteoclastic cell line with a knockdown of STAT3 showed an upregulation of a number of genes that are directly regulated by estrogen receptors. These data collectively suggest that regulation of STAT3 differs in male and female osteoclasts and that inactivation of STAT3 in osteoclasts affects bone turnover more in females than males, demonstrating the complicated nature of STAT3 signaling pathways in osteoclastogenesis. Drugs targeting the STAT3 pathway may be used for treatment of diseases such as Job's Syndrome and osteoporosis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere0236891
JournalPloS one
Issue number7 July
StatePublished - Jul 2020

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)
  • General

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