Indexed on: 14 Jan '21Published on: 14 Jan '21Published in: Journal of Bone and Mineral Metabolism
The receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL)-RANK-osteoprotegerin (OPG) system is critical to bone homeostasis, but genetically deficient mouse models have revealed important roles in the immune system as well. RANKL-RANK-OPG is particularly important to T cell biology because of its organogenic control of thymic development and secondary lymphoid tissues influence central T cell tolerance and peripheral T cell function. RANKL-RANK-OPG cytokine-receptor interactions are often controlled by regulation of expression of RANKL on developing T cells, which interacts with RANK expressed on some lymphoid tissue cells to stimulate key downstream signaling pathways that affect critical tuning functions of the T cell compartment, like cell survival and antigen presentation. Activation of peripheral T cells is regulated by RANKL-enhanced dendritic cell survival, and dysregulation of the RANKL-RANK-OPG system in this context is associated with loss of T cell tolerance and autoimmune disease. Given its broader implications for immune homeostasis and osteoimmunology, it is critical to further understand how the RANKL-RANK-OPG system operates in T cell biology.