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Pediatr Res. 1993 Apr;33(4 Pt 1):384-9.

Combination macrophage-colony stimulating factor and interferon-gamma administration ameliorates the osteopetrotic condition in microphthalmic (mi/mi) mice.

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  • 1Department of Pediatrics, Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston 29425.


Malignant osteopetrosis is a fatal congenital bone disorder characterized by defective osteoclastic function. Death frequently occurs within the first decade of life. The precise molecular defect(s) that causes osteopetrosis is not known. The possibility that osteoclasts, like macrophages, are controlled by interactions with cytokines suggests that these agents may provide a means of increasing osteoclastic function. Macrophage-colony stimulating factor (M-CSF), a cytokine known to enhance macrophage and osteoclast generation, and recombinant human interferon-gamma (rIFN), a cytokine known to stimulate superoxide generation by white cells, were administered to microphthalmic (mi/mi) mice in an attempt to improve the osteopetrotic condition. Each cytokine was administered separately and in combination to neonatal mi/mi mice for 7 consecutive d. Bone turnover, osteoclast numbers, superoxide generation by white cells, and hematocrit were assessed. rIFN, M-CSF, and a combination of the cytokines stimulates oxygen-derived free radical production by white cells and increased bone resorption. rIFN resulted in a reduction in the number of osteoclasts. This reduction in number was ameliorated by M-CSF. M-CSF alone and in combination with rIFN resulted in improved hematopoietic function, increased weight gain, and increased physical activity of the affected mutants.

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