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Bone. 2001 Aug;29(2):162-8.

Effects of calcitonin, amylin, and calcitonin gene-related peptide on osteoclast development.

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  • 1Department of Medicine and School of Biological Sciences, University of Auckland, Auckland, New Zealand. j.cornish@auckland.ac.nz


Amylin and calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) are homologous 37 amino acid peptides that are found in the circulation. Both peptides belong to the calcitonin family. Similar to calcitonin, amylin and CGRP inhibit osteoclast activity, although they are much less potent than calcitonin. Calcitonin is known to act on the latter stages of osteoclast development, inhibiting the fusion of committed preosteoclasts to form mature multinucleated cells; however, whether or not calcitonin acts earlier in the formation of the precursor osteoclasts is controversial. The question of osteoclast development has never been examined with respect to amylin and CGRP. These issues are addressed in the present study. We studied the effects of calcitonin (salmon and rat), amylin (human and rat), and CGRP (human and rat) in mouse bone marrow cultures stimulated to generate osteoclasts using 1alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. Calcitonin dose-dependently decreased the numbers of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive multinucleated cells as well as TRAP-positive mono-/binucleated cells at concentrations >10(-13) mol/L. Amylin and CGRP showed similar effects at concentrations >10(-9) mol/L. In addition, calcitonin substantially reduced the ratio of TRAP-positive multinucleated to mono-binucleated cells, indicating an effect on fusion of osteoclast precursors. The present data establish that this family of peptides not only acts on mature osteoclasts but also inhibits their development in bone marrow cultures. This activity is shared by amylin and CGRP. The much greater potency of calcitonin than amylin and CGRP is consistent with the action of these peptides being mediated by calcitonin receptors.

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