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Autoimmunity. 2008 Apr;41(3):183-94. doi: 10.1080/08916930701693180.

Osteoclasts - the innate immune cells of the bone.

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  • 1Department of Medicine, University of California, San Francisco, CA, USA.

Abstract

Osteopenia and periarticular bony erosion are consequences of chronic inflammatory autoimmune disease due to an imbalance of osteoclast activity relative to new bone formation. Osteoclasts, which are specialized as the only bone resorbing cell type, are differentiated from hematopoietic myeloid precursor cells. Inflammatory signals mediated by multiple types of immune cells and cytokines have significant influence over osteoclast differentiation and function through direct effects on osteoclast precursors and indirect effects via osteoblasts and other cells in the bony microenvironment including synovial cells, stromal cells, osteocytes and chondrocytes. Recent studies have demonstrated that osteoclasts themselves express a number of immune receptors and are regulated similarly to macrophages and dendritic cells, closely related cells in the innate immune system. Though we are only beginning to understand the roles of innate immune receptors in osteoclasts, some of these receptors have been shown to be critical regulators of differentiation and function of osteoclasts. Osteoclasts likely function as the innate immune cells of the bone, thus are highly regulated to appropriately respond to stress and inflammatory changes in their microenvironment.

PMID:
18365831
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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