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Endocrinology. 1998 Mar;139(3):1329-37.

Identity of osteoclastogenesis inhibitory factor (OCIF) and osteoprotegerin (OPG): a mechanism by which OPG/OCIF inhibits osteoclastogenesis in vitro.

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  • 1Research Institute of Life Science, Snow Brand Milk Products Co., Ltd., Tochigi, Japan. fvbd7042@mb.infoweb.or.jp


The morphogenesis and remodeling of bone depends on the integrated activity of osteoblasts that form bone and osteoclasts that resorb bone. We previously reported the isolation of a new cytokine termed osteoclastogenesis inhibitory factor, OCIF, which specifically inhibits osteoclast development. Here we report the cloning of a complementary DNA of human OCIF. OCIF is identical to osteoprotegerin (OPG), a soluble member of the tumor-necrosis factor receptor family that inhibits osteoclastogenesis. Recombinant human OPG/OCIF specifically acts on bone tissues and increases bone mineral density and bone volume associated with a decrease of active osteoclast number in normal rats. Osteoblasts or bone marrow-derived stromal cells support osteoclastogenesis through cell-to-cell interactions. A single class of high affinity binding sites for OPG/OCIF appears on a mouse stromal cell line, ST2, in response to 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3. An anti-OPG/OCIF antibody that blocks the binding abolishes the biological activity of OPG/OCIF. When the sites are blocked with OPG/OCIF, ST2 cells fail to support osteoclastogenesis. These results suggest that the sites are involved in cell-to-cell signaling between stromal cells and osteoclast progenitors and that OPG/OCIF inhibits osteoclastogenesis by interrupting the signaling through the sites.

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