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J Clin Invest. 1986 Jan;77(1):312-4.

No 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 receptors on osteoclasts of calcium-deficient chicken despite demonstrable receptors on circulating monocytes.


1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) is known to stimulate osteoclastic bone resorption in vivo and whole organ bone culture systems in vitro. It has not been established whether 1,25(OH)2D3 acts directly on osteoclasts or whether its action on osteoclasts is mediated via other bone cells (e.g., osteoblasts) or recruitment of osteoclast precursor cells. Circulating monocytes have been characterized as osteoclast precursors. In the present study, vitamin D3-replete chicken on a calcium-deficient diet were studied. Circulating monocytes, whole bone cell preparations, and isolated osteoclasts (differential sedimentation) were examined for presence of 1,25(OH)2D3 receptors. Reversible, specific, and saturable binding of [3H]-1,25(OH)2D3 to a 3.5 S macromolecule was demonstrated in nuclear fractions of monocytes (maximal binding capacity, 48 fmol/mg protein; dissociation constant, 1.3 X 10(-10) M) and of whole bone cell preparations. 1,25(OH)2D3 receptors were not demonstrable in osteoclast preparations (70% pure; detection threshold, 2 fmol/mg protein). Data are consistent with indirect action of 1,25(OH)2D3 on osteoclastic bone resorption.

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