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Am J Anat. 1986 Dec;177(4):505-11.

Pluripotent hemopoietic stem cells give rise to osteoclasts.


Osteopetrosis in the ia (incisors absent) rat is the result of reduced bone resorption due to abnormal osteoclasts. The mutant osteoclasts lack a ruffled border--the membrane specialization involved in osteolysis. Studies in the ia mutant have shown that when pluripotent hemopoietic stem cells from normal littermates are transplanted into ia recipients, normal osteoclasts are formed and the skeletal sclerosis is eventually cured. The present study was conducted to provide evidence for the mechanism of the cure. Do the transplanted stem cells provide a helper function, i.e. secrete soluble factor(s) which transform pre-existing osteoclasts, or do they fuse with each other or pre-existing osteoclasts, or do they fuse with each other or pre-existing osteoclasts to form functional osteoclasts? Using the procedures described by Gold-schneider and co-workers, and fluorescence-activated cell sorting (FACS), pluripotent hemopoietic stem cells were isolated from normal rat bone marrow, labeled with saturated FITC, and injected intravenously into irradiated ia rats. After 48 hr, the recipients' long bones were removed and split longitudinally, and the endosteal surface was scraped. The resulting cellular suspension containing osteoclasts was examined by phase contrast and fluorescence microscopy. Fluorescing mononuclear cells of donor origin that had homed to the bone marrow demonstrated moderate cytoplasmic fluorescence. Approximately 30% of the osteoclasts observed demonstrated light cytoplasmic fluorescence. When cellular pools incapable of curing osteopetrosis (thymocytes) were labeled and injected into ia recipients, no labeled osteoclasts were observed. These studies indicated that pluripotent hemopoietic stem cells, when transplanted into ia hosts, fuse with each other and differentiate into osteoclasts or fuse with pre-existing osteoclasts.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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