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J Biol Chem. 2000 Oct 6;275(40):31155-61.

Involvement of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling pathway in osteoclastogenesis mediated by receptor activator of NF-kappa B ligand (RANKL).

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  • 1Laboratories of Cellular Biochemistry and Antibiotics, RIKEN (The Institute of Physical and Chemical Research), 2-1 Hirosawa, Wako, Saitama, 351-0198 Japan.


The receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL) induces osteoclast differentiation from bone marrow cells in the presence of macrophage colony-stimulating factor. We found that treatment of bone marrow cells with SB203580 inhibited osteoclast differentiation via inhibition of the RANKL-mediated signaling pathway. To elucidate the role of p38 mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase pathway in osteoclastogenesis, we employed RAW264 cells which could differentiate into osteoclast-like cells following treatment with RANKL. In a dose-dependent manner, SB203580 but not PD98059, inhibited RANKL-induced differentiation. Among three MAP kinase families tested, this inhibition profile coincided only with the activation of p38 MAP kinase. Expression in RAW264 cells of the dominant negative form of either p38alpha MAP kinase or MAP kinase kinase (MKK) 6 significantly inhibited RANKL-induced differentiation of the cells. These results indicate that activation of the p38 MAP kinase pathway plays an important role in RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation of precursor bone marrow cells.

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