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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. Jun 15, 1993; 90(12): 5578–5582.

Generation of osteoclast-inductive and osteoclastogenic cell lines from the H-2KbtsA58 transgenic mouse.


The development of osteoclastic cell lines would greatly facilitate analysis of the cellular and molecular biology of bone resorption. Several cell lines have previously been reported to be capable of osteoclastic differentiation. However, such cell lines form at best only occasional excavations, suggesting that osteoclastic differentiation is either incomplete or that osteoclasts represent a very small proportion of the cells present. We have used the recently developed H-2KbtsA58 transgenic mouse, in which the interferon-inducible major mouse histocompatibility complex H-2Kb promoter drives the temperature-sensitive (ts) immortalizing gene of simian virus 40 (tsA58), to develop cell lines from bone marrow with high efficiency. Bone marrow cells were incubated with gamma interferon at 33 degrees C, then cloned, and expanded. The cell lines were characterized at 39.5 degrees C in the absence of gamma interferon. First, stromal cell lines were established that induced osteclast formation (resorption of bone slices) when cocultured with hemopoietic spleen cells. Some of the stromal cell lines so generated were able to resorb approximately 30 mm2/cm2 of bone surface. We then established cell lines of hemopoietic origin, several of which possess osteoclastic potential. When these osteoclast-precursor cell lines were cocultured with stromal cell lines, extensive bone resorption was observed. Osteoclast formation did not occur if the precursor cell lines were incubated on bone slices without stromal cells; osteoclast formation was also dependent upon the presence of 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. These cell lines represent a model for osteoclast formation and a valuable resource for identification of the mechanisms and factors that regulate osteoclast differentiation and function.

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