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J Clin Invest. Nov 1995; 96(5): 2277–2283.
PMCID: PMC185878

Acid extrusion is induced by osteoclast attachment to bone. Inhibition by alendronate and calcitonin.


Acid extrusion is essential for osteoclast (OC) activity. We examined Na+ and HCO3(-)-independent H+ extrusion in rat- and mouse OCs by measuring intracellular pH (pHi) changes, with the pHi indicator BCECF (biscarboxyethyl-5-(6) carboxyfluorescein) after H+ loading with an ammonium pulse. 90% of OCs attached to glass do not possess HCO3- and Na(+)-independent H(+)-extrusion (rate of pHi recovery = 0.043 +/- 0.007 (SEM) pH U/min, n = 26). In contrast, in OCs attached to bone, the pHi recovery rate is 0.228 +/- 0.011 pHi U/min, n = 25. OCs on bone also possess a NH(4+)-permeable pathway not seen on glass. The bone-induced H+ extrusion was inhibited by salmon calcitonin (10(-8) M, for 2 h), and was not present after pretreating the bone slices with the aminobisphosphonate alendronate (ALN). At ALN levels of 0.22 nmol/mm2 bone, H+ extrusion was virtually absent 12 h after cell seeding (0.004 +/- 0.002 pH U/min) and approximately 50% inhibition was observed at 0.022 pmol ALN/mm2 bone. The Na(+)-independent H+ extrusion was not inhibited by bafilomycin A1 (up to 10(-7) M), although a bafilomycin A1 (10(-8) M)-sensitive H+ pump was present in membrane vesicles isolated from these osteoclasts. These findings indicate that Na(+)-independent acid extrusion is stimulated by osteoclast attachment to bone and is virtually absent when bone is preincubated with ALN, or when osteoclasts are treated with salmon calcitonin.

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