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Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 2005 Mar 18;328(3):709-20.

Regulation of apoptosis in osteoclasts and osteoblastic cells.

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  • 1Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, University of Rochester Medical Center, NY, USA.


In postnatal life, the skeleton undergoes continuous remodeling in which osteoclasts resorb aged or damaged bone, leaving space for osteoblasts to make new bone. The balance of proliferation, differentiation, and apoptosis of bone cells determines the size of osteoclast or osteoblast populations at any given time. Bone cells constantly receive signals from adjacent cells, hormones, and bone matrix that regulate their proliferation, activity, and survival. Thus, the amount of bone and its microarchitecture before and after the menopause or following therapeutic intervention with drugs, such as sex hormones, glucocorticoids, parathyroid hormone, and bisphosphonates, is determined in part by effects of these on survival of osteoclasts, osteoblasts, and osteocytes. Understanding the mechanisms and regulation of bone cell apoptosis will enhance our knowledge of bone cell function and help us to develop better therapeutics for the management of osteoporosis and other bone diseases.

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