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Bone. 2004 Oct;35(4):909-17.

The relative contribution of cysteine proteinases and matrix metalloproteinases to the resorption process in osteoclasts derived from long bone and scapula.

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Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada M5G 1G6.


It has been suggested that functional heterogeneity exists between osteoclasts from different bone sites. This could be exploited to design therapeutics that would selectively inhibit bone resorption only at compromised sites. To further investigate the existence of functional differences between osteoclasts from different bone sites we assessed whether osteoclasts isolated from intramembranous bone differ from osteoclasts isolated from endochondral bone in the extent that they utilize cysteine proteinases and matrix metalloproteinases to degrade the organic matrix of bone. The differential involvement of the two classes of proteases was assessed by analyzing dose-dependent effects of the matrix metalloproteinase inhibitor, CT-1746, and of the cathepsin inhibitor, E64, on bone resorption. Osteoclasts isolated from the scapula (intramembranous) and long bones (endochondral) of newborn New Zealand white rabbits were seeded on cortical bovine bone slices in the presence or absence of inhibitors. Resorptive activity was evaluated by measuring the number and area of resorption pits and by measuring the release of collagen degradation products in the culture medium. In the absence of inhibitors, scapular osteoclasts and long bone osteoclasts had similar activity based on these criteria. The resorptive activity of scapular osteoclasts was inhibited to a greater extent by the MMP inhibitor CT-1746 than by the cysteine proteinase inhibitor E64. Conversely, resorption by osteoclasts derived from long bones was inhibited to a greater degree by the cysteine proteinase inhibitor. These results strongly suggest that there are functional differences between dispersed osteoclasts derived from the scapula and long bones, with scapular osteoclasts utilizing matrix metalloproteinases to a greater extent than cysteine proteinases and long bone osteoclasts using cysteine proteinases to a greater extent than matrix metalloproteinases.

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