Background: Glucocorticoid (GC) is one of frequently used anti-inflammatory agents, but its administration is unfortunately accompanied with bone loss. Although sporadic studies indicated that osteocytes are subject to a series of pathological changes under GC stress, including overexpression of cathepsin K, the definite role of osteocytes in GC-induced bone loss remains largely unclear. Methods: Gene expression of Ctsk and protein levels of cathepsin K were assessed in MLO-Y4 cell lines exposed to dexamethasone (Dex) of different time (0, 12, 24 hours) and dose (0, 10-8 and 10-6 M) courses by RT-qPCR and western blotting, respectively. Confocal imaging and immunostaining were then performed to evaluate the effects of osteocyte-derived cathepsin K on type I collagen in a primary osteocyte ex vivo culture system. MitoTracker Red was used to stain mitochondria for mitochondria morphology assessment and JC-1 assay was employed to evaluate the mitochondria membrane potential in MLO-Y4 cells following Dex treatment. Activation of PINK1-mediated mitophagy was evaluated by immunostaining of the PINK1 protein and CytoID assay. Mdivi-1 was used to inhibit mitophagy and siRNAs were used for the inhibition of Pink1 and Atg5. Results: GC triggered osteocytes to produce excessive cathepsin K which in turn led to the degradation of type I collagen in the extracellular matrix in a primary osteocyte ex vivo culture system. Meanwhile, GC administration increased mitochondrial fission and membrane depolarization in osteocytes. Further, the activation of PINK1-mediated mitophagy was demonstrated to be responsible for the diminishment of dysfunctional mitochondria in osteocytes. Examination of relationship between mitophagy and cathepsin K production revealed that inhibition of mitophagy via knocking down Pink1 gene abolished the GC-triggered cathepsin K production. Interestingly, GC's activation effect towards cathepsin K via mitophagy was found to be independent on the canonical autophagy as this effect was not impeded when inhibiting the canonical autophagy via Atg5 suppression. Conclusion: GC-induced PINK1-mediated mitophagy substantially modulates the production of cathepsin K in osteocytes, which could be an underlying mechanism by which osteocytes contribute to the extracellular matrix degradation during bone loss. The Translational potential of this article: Findings of the current study indicate a possible role of osteocyte mitophagy in GC-induced bone loss, which provides a potential therapeutic approach to alleviate GC-induced osteoporosis by targeting PINK1-mediated osteocytic mitophagy.