Background: Osteoclastic bone resorption in the compression zone of periodontal ligament (PDL) plays a role in orthodontic tooth movement, and is regulated by the balance of RANKL and OPG. Compression downregulates OPG, conversely, tension upregulates OPG in PDL cells. However, the regulatory mechanism of OPG expression in PDL cells under different mechanical stresses remains unclear. Methods: To study microRNA (miRNA) expression profiles, compression (2g/cm2) or tension (15%-elongation) was applied to immortalized human PDL (HPL) cells, and miRNA was extracted. The miRNA expression was analyzed using a human miRNA microarray, and the changes of the miRNA expression were confirmed by real-time RT-PCR. In addition, miR-3198-mimic and -inhibitor were transfected into HPL cells to understand the resulting OPG expression and production. Results: Certain miRNAs were expressed differentially under compression and tension. Some miRNAs including miR-3198 were upregulated only by compression. Real-time RT-PCR confirmed that compression induced miR-3198, but tension reduced it, in HPL cells. miR-3198-inhibitor upregulated and miR-3198-mimic reduced OPG in HPL cells. miR-3198-inhibitor rescued the compression-mediated downregulation of OPG. On the other hand, miR-3198-mimic reduced OPG expression under tension. Conclusion: We conclude that miR-3198 is upregulated by compression and is downregulated by tension, suggesting that miR-3198 downregulates OPG in response to mechanical stress.