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J Bone Miner Res. 2002 Jul;17(7):1200-10.

NF-kappaB p50 and p52 expression is not required for RANK-expressing osteoclast progenitor formation but is essential for RANK- and cytokine-mediated osteoclastogenesis.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, New York 14642, USA.

Abstract

Expression of RANKL by stromal cells and of RANK and both NF-kappaB p50 and p52 by osteoclast precursors is essential for osteoclast formation. To examine further the role of RANKL, RANK, and NF-KB signaling in this process, we used NF-kappaB p50-/- ;p52-/- double knockout (dKO) and wild-type (WT) mice. Osteoclasts formed in cocultures of WT osteoblasts with splenocytes from WT mice but not from dKO mice, a finding unchanged by addition of RANKL and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF). NF-kappaB dKO splenocytes formed more colony-forming unit granulocyte macrophage (CFU-GM) colonies than WT cells, but no osteoclasts were formed from dKO CFU-GM colonies. RANKL increased the number of CFU-GM colonies twofold in WT cultures but not in dKO cultures. Fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS) analysis of splenocytes from NF-kappaB dKO mice revealed a two-to threefold increase in the percentage of CD11b (Mac-1) and RANK double-positive cells compared with WT controls. Treatment of NF-kappaB dKO splenocytes with interleukin (IL)-1, TNF-alpha, M-CSF, GM-CSF, and IL-6 plus soluble IL-6 receptor did not rescue the osteoclast defect. No increase in apoptosis was observed in cells of the osteoclast lineage in NF-kappaB dKO or p50-/-;p52+/- (3/4KO) mice. Thus, NF-kappaB p50 and p52 expression is not required for formation of RANK-expressing osteoclast progenitors but is essential for RANK-expressing osteoclast precursors to differentiate into TRAP+ osteoclasts in response to RANKL and other osteoclastogenic cytokines.

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