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Bone. 2001 May;28(5):513-23.

The mouse osteopetrotic grey-lethal mutation induces a defect in osteoclast maturation/function.

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Institut de recherches cliniques de Montréal, Faculté de Médecine de l'Université de Montréal, 110 avenue des Pins Quest, Montréal, Quebec H2W 1R7, Canada.


The osteopetrotic grey-lethal (gl) mouse mutant displays many similarities to the human malignant autosomal-recessive form of osteopetrosis. In this study, we show that the gl osteopetrotic bone phenotype is characterized by the presence of numerous differentiated multinucleated osteoclasts. A significant increase in the number of tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP)-positive osteoclasts was detected in vivo, suggesting induction of differentiation in the osteoclast lineage as a compensatory mechanism. These gl osteoclast cells demonstrated a defective cytoskeletal reorganization and an underdeveloped ruffled border, a membrane structure essential for active bone resorption. Accordingly, resorption activity of these cells is markedly impaired by four- to tenfold as evaluated with the pit formation assay. This low bone resorption in gl osteoclasts is highly reminiscent of the loss in key enzymes, V-ATPase or cathepsin-K, and in signaling factors, Src or TRAF-6, which were shown not to be significantly altered in gl osteoclasts. Thus, independently of a deficiency in V-ATPase, Src, cathepsin-K, and TRAF-6, the gl mutation results in increased number of osteoclasts, characterized by a disrupted cytoskeleton and an underdeveloped ruffled border.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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