, Volume 63, Issue 4, pp 346-350

Nicotinamide Adenine Dinucleotide Phosphate Oxidase in the Formation of Superoxide in Osteoclasts

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Osteoclasts use a variety of chemical agents to degrade bone. One important component of this process is the generation of superoxide. It has been reported that nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate (NADPH) oxidase is the enzyme responsible for superoxide production in phagocyte; however, the NADPH oxidase present in osteoclasts has not been studied in detail. One of the membrane-bound subunits of the NADPH oxidase is gp91phox which represents the rate-limiting component for the formation of the NADPH oxidase complex. This study was designed to demonstrate the presence of gp91phox in individual osteoclasts using the RT-PCR technique developed for limited numbers of cells. Compared with white cells, 1.8 times the amount of gp91phox mRNA was found in osteoclasts. This difference may be related to the size of the osteoclast and the multiple nuclei present. The presence of gp91phox in osteoclasts was confirmed at protein level by immunocytochemistry. Osteoclastic superoxide generation is inhibited by diphenylene iodonium, a specific inhibitor of the NADPH oxidase. These studies suggest that superoxide generation by osteoclasts correlates with the activity of NADPH oxidase.

Received: 8 September 1997 / Accepted: 8 April 1998