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Blood. 2010 Nov 25;116(22):4456-63. doi: 10.1182/blood-2010-01-263590. Epub 2010 Aug 13.

Efficient osteoclast differentiation requires local complement activation.

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Department of Pathology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH, USA.


Previous studies using blocking antibodies suggested that bone marrow (BM)-derived C3 is required for efficient osteoclast (OC) differentiation, and that C3 receptors are involved in this process. However, the detailed underlying mechanism and the possible involvement of other complement receptors remain unclear. In this report, we found that C3(-/-) BM cells exhibited lower RANKL/OPG expression ratios, produced smaller amounts of macrophage colony-stimulating factor and interleukin-6 (IL-6), and generated significantly fewer OCs than wild-type (WT) BM cells. During differentiation, in addition to C3, WT BM cells locally produced all other complement components required to activate C3 and to generate C3a/C5a through the alter-native pathway, which is required for efficient OC differentiation. Abrogating C3aR/C5aR activity either genetically or pharmaceutically suppressed OC generation, while stimulating WT or C3(-/-) BM cells with exogenous C3a and/or C5a augmented OC differentiation. Furthermore, supplementation with IL-6 rescued OC generation from C3(-/-) BM cells, and neutralizing antibodies to IL-6 abolished the stimulatory effects of C3a/C5a on OC differentiation. These data indicate that during OC differentiation, BM cells locally produce components, which are activated through the alternative pathway to regulate OC differentiation. In addition to C3 receptors, C3aR/C5aR also regulate OC differentiation, at least in part, by modulating local IL-6 production.

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