Bisphosphonate-related (BP-related) osteonecrosis of the jaw (BRONJ) is one of the severe side effects of administration of BPs, such as zoledronic acid (ZA), which can disrupt the patient’s quality of life. Although the direct target of skeletal vasculature and bone resorption activity by BPs has been phenomenally observed, the underlying mechanism in BRONJ remains largely elusive. Thus, it is urgently necessary to discover effective therapeutic targets based on the multifaceted underlying mechanisms in the development of BRONJ. Here, we determined the inhibitory role of ZA-treated macrophages on osteoclast differentiation and type H vessel formation during tooth extraction socket (TES) healing. Mechanistically, ZA activated the NF-κB signaling pathway and then induced p65 nuclear translocation in macrophages to promote miR-149-5p transcription, resulting in impaired osteoclast differentiation via directly binding to the Traf6 3′-UTR region. Moreover, we identified that miR-149-5p–loaded extracellular vesicles derived from ZA-treated bone marrow–derived macrophages could regulate biological functions of endothelial cells via the Rap1a/Rap1b/VEGFR2 pathway. Furthermore, local administration of chemically modified antagomiR-149-5p was proven to be therapeutically effective in BRONJ mice. In conclusion, our findings illuminate the dual effects of miR-149-5p on skeletal angiogenesis and bone remolding, suggesting it as a promising preventive and therapeutic target for BRONJ.


Xin Shen, Weiwen Zhu, Ping Zhang, Yu Fu, Jie Cheng, Laikui Liu, Rongyao Xu, Hongbing Jiang


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