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Human osteoblast cultures derived as out-growths from trabecular bone released tumor necrosis factor (TNF alpha) upon stimulation of the cells with human recombinant interleukin 1 (IL1; 10(-13)-10(-11) M), human recombinant granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (100-1000 U/ml), and bacterial lipopolysaccharide (5-500 ng/ml). The osteotropic hormones 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, PTH, and calcitonin had no effect on TNF production. The TNF released by the osteoblasts was identified as TNF alpha, using a specific anti-TNF alpha monoclonal antibody to neutralize its activity. Immunohistochemical staining of the cells using the same antibody revealed that all of the cells in the cultures were capable of producing TNF alpha, including those that also expressed alkaline phosphatase activity. Immunoreactive protein could be detected in the perinuclear region when cells were cultured in the presence of monensin, suggesting accumulation of newly synthesised protein in the Golgi apparatus. These results suggest that human osteoblasts, which have been shown previously to respond to TNF alpha, can synthesize and release TNF in response to IL1 and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor. TNF may, therefore, not only have a pathological role in conditions of chronic inflammation, but also may act as a local paracrine or autocrine regulator of osteoblast function.

Original publication




Journal article



Publication Date





1250 - 1255


Calcitonin, Calcitriol, Cells, Cultured, Colony-Stimulating Factors, Granulocyte-Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor, Growth Substances, Humans, Immunoenzyme Techniques, Interleukin-1, Osteoblasts, Parathyroid Hormone, Recombinant Proteins, Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha