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FEBS Lett. 2000 May 12;473(2):161-4.

Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) directly enhances osteoclastic bone resorption and survival of mature osteoclasts.

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Department of Oral Anatomy, Meikai University School of Dentistry, Sakado, Saitama, Japan.


In bone development and regeneration, angiogenesis and bone/cartilage resorption are essential processes and are closely associated with each other, suggesting a common mediator for these two biological events. To address this interrelationship, we examined the effect of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), the most critical growth factor for angiogenesis, on osteoclastic bone-resorbing activity in a culture of highly purified rabbit mature osteoclasts. VEGF caused a dose- and time-dependent increase in the area of bone resorption pits excavated by the isolated osteoclasts, partially by enhancing the survival of the cells. Two distinct VEGF receptors, KDR/Flk-1 and Flt-1, were detectable in osteoclasts at the gene and protein levels, and VEGF induced tyrosine phosphorylation of proteins in osteoclasts. Thus, osteoclastic function and angiogenesis are up-regulated by a common mediator such as VEGF.

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