Osteoprotegerin (OPG), a decoy receptor for receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL), antagonizes RANKL's osteoclastogenic function in bone. We previously demonstrated that systemic administration of lipopolysaccharide (LPS) to mice elevates OPG levels and reduces RANKL levels in peripheral blood. Here, we show that mice infected with Salmonella, Staphylococcus, Mycobacteria or influenza virus also show elevated serum OPG levels. We then asked whether OPG upregulation following microbial invasion had an effect outside of bone. To do so, we treated mice with LPS and observed OPG production in pancreas, especially in β-cells of pancreatic islets. Insulin release following LPS administration was enhanced in mice lacking OPG, suggesting that OPG inhibits insulin secretion under acute inflammatory conditions. Consistently, treatment of MIN6 pancreatic β-cells with OPG decreased their insulin secretion following glucose stimulation in the presence of LPS. Finally, our findings suggest that LPS-induced OPG upregulation is mediated in part by activator protein (AP)-1 family transcription factors, particularly Fos proteins. Overall, we report that acute microbial infection elevates serum OPG, which maintains β-cell homeostasis by restricting glucose-stimulated insulin secretion, possibly preventing microbe-induced exhaustion of β-cell secretory capacity.
ASJC Scopus subject areas