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J Bone Miner Res. 1992 Nov;7(11):1297-306.

Preparation and characterization of a mouse osteoclast-like multinucleated cell population.

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Department of Biochemistry, School of Dentistry, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan.


We have reported that numerous tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase-positive osteoclast-like multinucleated cells (TRAP+ MNCs) are formed when mouse osteoblastic cells and spleen cells are cocultured in the presence of 1 alpha,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 [1 alpha,25-(OH)2D3] (Endocrinology 123:2600, 1988). In this study, we prepared a TRAP+ MNC population using a modified coculture system and examined its osteoclastic properties. TRAP+ MNCs were formed in cocultures of mouse osteoblastic cells and marrow cells on 10 cm collagen gel-coated dishes. The TRAP+ MNC population was prepared by treating the dishes with 0.2% bacterial collagenase followed by density gradient centrifugation. The yield of TRAP+ MNCs was 20,000-40,000 cells per dish, much higher than that of osteoclasts (OCLs) isolated from neonatal rat bones (approximately 1000 cells per head). The purity of TRAP+ MNCs was 5.6 +/- 0.6% in cell number and about 30% in the number of nuclei. The recovery of TRAP+ MNCs after density gradient centrifugation was 30-40%. Acid production by MNCs was demonstrated by vital staining with acridine orange. Numerous resorption pits were formed when the MNC population was cultured for 48 h on bone slices. Autoradiography using [125I]salmon calcitonin (CT) showed abundant CT binding in most TRAP+ MNCs. Saturation analysis of [125I]salmon CT indicated a dissociation constant Kd for TRAP+ MNCs of 8.9 +/- 0.7 x 10(-10) M and 16.5 +/- 1.5 x 10(6) binding sites per cell. These results were similar to the Kd value (3.5 x 10(-10) M) and the number of binding sites (3.3 x 10(6) per cell) in isolated rat OCLs. Displacement curves for [125I]salmon CT with unlabeled salmon and human CT were similar in MNC and OCL preparations. Salmon and human CT increased cAMP production (maximal response: slmon CT at 10(-10) M, human CT at 10(-8) M; ED50s: salmon CT, 2.2 x 10(-11) M, human CT, 1.3 x 10(-9) M) in the MNC preparation. These results indicate that a large number of mouse TRAP+ MNCs possessing OCL characteristics can be easily prepared from in vitro cultures. This procedure will facilitate examination of mammalian OCL functions.

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