Journal of cellular physiology

Staphylococcal protein A promotes osteoclastogenesis through MAPK signaling during bone infection.

PMID 28185243


Bone infection is a common and serious complication in the orthopedics field, which often leads to excessive bone destruction and non-union. Osteoclast is the only type of cells which have the function of bone resorption. Its over activation is closely related to excessive bone loss. Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) is a major pathogen causing bone infection, which can produce a large number of strong pathogenic substances staphylococcal protein A (SPA). However, few studies were reported about the effects of SPA on osteoclastogenesis. In our study, we observed that S. aureus activated osteoclasts and promoted bone loss in bone infection specimens. Then, we investigated the effects of SPA on RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis in vitro, the results revealed that SPA promoted osteoclastic differentiation and fusion, and enhanced osteoclastic bone resorption. In addition, we also showed that SPA upregulated the expression of NFATc1 and c-FOS through the activation of MAPK signaling to promote osteoclastogenesis. Our findings might help us better understand the pathogenic role of S. aureus in bone infection and develop new therapeutic strategies for infectious bone diseases.