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Microsc Res Tech. 2003 Aug 15;61(6):483-95.

Differentiation and functions of osteoclasts and odontoclasts in mineralized tissue resorption.

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Department of Oral Histology, School of Dentistry, Showa University, Tokyo 142-8555, Japan.


The differentiation and functions of osteoclasts (OC) are regulated by osteoblast-derived factors such as receptor activator of NFKB ligand (RANKL) that stimulates OC formation, and a novel secreted member of the TNF receptor superfamily, osteoprotegerin (OPG), that negatively regulates osteoclastogenesis. In examination of the preosteoclast (pOC) culture, pOCs formed without any additives expressed tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP), but showed little resorptive activity. pOC treated with RANKL became TRAP-positive OC, which expressed intense vacuolar-type H(+)-ATPase and exhibited prominent resorptive activity. Such effects of RANKL on pOC were completely inhibited by addition of OPG. OPG inhibited ruffled border formation in mature OC and reduced their resorptive activity, and also induced apoptosis of some OC. Although OPG administration significantly reduced trabecular bone loss in the femurs of ovariectomized (OVX) mice, the number of TRAP-positive OC in OPG-administered OVX mice was not significantly decreased. Rather, OPG administration caused the disappearance of ruffled borders and decreased H(+)-ATPase expression in most OC. OPG deficiency causes severe osteoporosis. We also examined RANKL localization and OC induction in periodontal ligament (PDL) during experimental movement of incisors in OPG-deficient mice. Compared to wild-type OPG (+/+) littermates, after force application, TRAP-positive OC were markedly increased in the PDL and alveolar bone was severely destroyed in OPG-deficient mice. In both wild-type and OPG-deficient mice, RANKL expression in osteoblasts and fibroblasts became stronger by force application. These in vitro and in vivo studies suggest that RANKL and OPG are important regulators of not only the terminal differentiation of OC but also their resorptive function. To determine resorptive functions of OC, we further examined the effects of specific inhibitors of H(+)-ATPase, bafilomycin A1, and lysosomal cysteine proteinases (cathepsins), E-64, on the ultrastructure, expression of these enzymes and resorptive functions of cultured OC. In bafilomycin A1-treated cultures, OC lacked ruffled borders, and H(+)-ATPase expression and resorptive activity were significantly diminished. E-64 treatment did not affect the ultrastructure and the expression of enzyme molecules in OC, but significantly reduced resorption lacuna formation, by inhibition of cathepsin activity. Lastly, we examined the expression of H(+)-ATPase, cathepsin K, and matrix metalloproteinase-9 in odontoclasts (OdC) during physiological root resorption in human deciduous teeth, and found that there were no differences in the expression of these molecules between OC and OdC. RANKL was also detected in stromal cells located on resorbing dentine surfaces. This suggests that there is a common mechanism in cellular resorption of mineralized tissues such as bone and teeth.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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