The role of Stat3 in skeletal development

American English
Embargo Lift Date
Committee Chair
Degree Year
Department of Biology
Purdue University
Journal Title
Journal ISSN
Volume Title
Found At

Many factors are present in the development of skeletal tissue. Some factors lead to an increase in bone mass while some lead to a decrease. One factor that is known to have an influence on skeletal development is Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 3 (Stat3). This knowledge arose because of a mutation in the Stat3 gene in humans causing a disease called Hyper-IgE Syndrome. This mutation leads to a variety of issues, including decreased bone mass. Because of this, our lab has sought to study Stat3 in its relation to bone. Many studies have already been conducted that discern how Stat3 influences skeletal biology by observing its role in osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and other bone cells. Its role is still unclear, and many studies have provided seemingly contradictory results in how it works on bone tissue. Our lab set up several different studies in order to further elucidate what role Stat3 plays in skeletal development by looking at its effects on osteoblasts and osteoclasts, the bone-forming and bone-destroying cells of the body, respectively. We conditionally knocked out Stat3 in the osteoblasts of mice and compared several different bone parameters to their wild type counterparts at 8 weeks of age. Differences were noted in bone phenotype, including decreased femur length, weight, bone mineral density, and bone mineral content in the cKO compared to their WT counterparts. While no significant difference in trabecular integrity was noted, several differences were observed in cortical bone. These differences indicate that Stat3 has a positive role in osteoblast differentiation, leading to an overall positive effect on bone mass. To observe the role of Stat3 in osteoclasts, in vitro experiments were set up in which pre-osteoclast RAW 264.7 cells were manipulated with Stat3 siRNA or a Stat3 overexpression construct and RANKL to induce differentiation. Using qPCR and western blot assays, it was determined that when Stat3 is knocked down, several important genes in osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast function are more highly expressed than in the control groups. When Stat3 is overexpressed, a similar pattern is observed where these same genes are downregulated in the presence of higher Stat3 levels. These results indicate that Stat3 has an overall inhibitory effect on osteoclastogenesis and osteoclast function, indicating it has a positive effect on bone mass. Future studies could be performed to further elucidate the effects of Stat3 on skeletal development. Isolating the osteoblasts from cKO and WT mice and performing qPCR and western blot assays could be useful in finding out how Stat3 is influencing these cells. Further studies could also be done on the RAW 264.7 cells to find where Stat3 is interacting with the RANKL pathway. A resorption assay could be done with these cells to better understand how function might be influenced by Stat3.

Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Cite As
Alternative Title
Conference Dates
Conference Host
Conference Location
Conference Name
Conference Panel
Conference Secretariat Location
Full Text Available at
This item is under embargo {{howLong}}