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Bone. 1995 Aug;17(2 Suppl):87S-91S.

Modulation of osteoclast differentiation by local factors.

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Department of Biochemistry, School of Dentistry, Showa University, Tokyo, Japan.


Bone-resorbing osteoclasts are of hemopoietic cell origin, probably of the CFU-M-derived monocyte-macrophage family. Bone marrow-derived osteoblastic stromal cells play an important role in modulating the differentiation of osteoclast progenitors in two different ways: one is the production of soluble factors, and the other is cell-to-cell recognition between osteoclast progenitors and osteoblastic stromal cells. M-CSF is probably the most important soluble factor, which appears to be necessary for not only proliferation of osteoclast progenitors, but also differentiation into mature osteoclasts and their survival. A number of local factors as well as systemic hormones induce osteoclast differentiation. They are classified into three categories in terms of the signal transduction: vitamin D receptor-mediated signals [1 alpha,25(OH)2D3]; protein kinase A-mediated signals (PTH, PTHrP, PGE2, and IL-1); and gp130-mediated signals (IL-6, IL-11, oncostatin M, and leukemia inhibitory factor). All of these osteoclast-inducing factors appear to act on osteoblastic cells to commonly induce osteoclast differentiation factor (ODF), which recognizes osteoclast progenitors and prepares them to differentiate into mature osteoclasts. This line of approach will undoubtedly produce new ways to treat several metabolic bone diseases caused by abnormal osteoclast recruitment such as osteoporosis, osteopetrosis, Paget's disease, rheumatoid arthritis, and periodontal disease.

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