Send to

Choose Destination
Nitric Oxide. 2009 Aug;21(1):27-36. doi: 10.1016/j.niox.2009.04.002. Epub 2009 Apr 21.

Nitric oxide enhances osteoclastogenesis possibly by mediating cell fusion.

Author information

Faculty of Dentistry, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada.


Osteoclasts are multinucleated bone resorbing cells which form by fusion of pre-osteoclasts. Here, we investigate how nitric oxide (NO) affects osteoclastogenesis. Time lapse photomicrography, using the fluorescent NO indicator dye, 4,5-diaminofluorescein diacetate, revealed an intense NO signal in pre-osteoclasts preceding cell fusion. Osteoclastogenesis in RAW264.7 cells increased when exposed to the NO synthase inhibitor, L-NMMA (0.25 microM), for the initial 48 h. In contrast, pre-osteoclast fusion decreased when RAW264.7 cells were exposed to L-NMMA from 48 to 96 h. Both NO synthase inhibitors, L-NMMA and L-NAME, decreased osteoclast formation during this time period. The inhibitory effect of L-NMMA on osteoclast formation was abolished with increasing concentrations (25-200 ng/ml) of sRANKL suggesting signaling cross talk. NO donors increased osteoclast formation in a dose-dependent manner, with greatest stimulation at 15 microM NOC-12 (2.3 fold) and 5 microM NOC-18 (2.4 fold). Measuring nitrite (NO end product) daily from culture media of RAW264.7 cells undergoing osteoclastogenesis revealed that an increase in NO production coincided with the fusion of pre-osteoclasts (day 4). Inhibiting fusion by plating cells on polystyrene dishes pre-coated with poly-(L-lysine) decreased both osteoclast formation and NO production. To address if NO mediates fusion through the actin cytoskeleton, actin free barbed ends were measured. 0.25 microM L-NMMA decreased, while 15 microM NOC-12 and 5 microM NOC-18 increased actin free barbed ends. We hypothesize that while NO initially negatively regulates pre-osteoclast differentiation; it later facilitates the fusion of mononuclear pre-osteoclasts, possibly by up regulating actin remodeling.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Elsevier Science
Loading ...
Support Center