Pentamidine Inhibits Titanium Particle-Induced Osteolysis In Vivo and Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-κB Ligand-Mediated Osteoclast Differentiation In Vitro

  • Hye Jung Ihn
  • Kiryeong Kim
  • Hye-Sung Cho
  • Eui Kyun ParkEmail author
Original Article



Wear debris-induced osteolysis leads to periprosthetic loosening and subsequent prosthetic failure. Since excessive osteoclast formation is closely implicated in periprosthetic osteolysis, identification of agents to suppress osteoclast formation and/or function is crucial for the treatment and prevention of wear particle-induced bone destruction. In this study, we examined the potential effect of pentamidine treatment on titanium (Ti) particle-induced osteolysis, and receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL)-induced osteoclastogenesis.


The effect of pentamidine treatment on bone destruction was examined in Ti particle-induced osteolysis mouse model. Ti particles were implanted onto mouse calvaria, and vehicle or pentamidine was administered for 10 days. Then, calvarial bone tissue was analyzed using micro-computed tomography and histology. We performed in vitro osteoclastogenesis assay using bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMs) to determine the effect of pentamidine on osteoclast formation. BMMs were treated with 20 ng/mL RANKL and 10 ng/mL macrophage colony-stimulating factor in the presence or absence of pentamidine. Osteoclast differentiation was determined by tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase staining, real-time polymerase chain reaction, and immunofluorescence staining.


Pentamidine administration decreased Ti particle-induced osteoclast formation significantly and prevented bone destruction compared to the Ti particle group in vivo. Pentamidine also suppressed RANKL-induced osteoclast differentiation and actin ring formation markedly, and inhibited the expression of nuclear factor of activated T cell c1 and osteoclast-specific genes in vitro. Additionally, pentamidine also attenuated RANKL-mediated phosphorylation of IκBα in BMMs.


These results indicate that pentamidine is effective in inhibiting osteoclast formation and significantly attenuates wear debris-induced bone loss in mice.


Pentamidine Osteolysis Osteoclastogenesis Titanium RANKL 



This study was supported by the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) grant funded by the Korean Government (MSIT) (NRF-2017R1A2B1005409).

Compliance with ethical standards

Conflict of interest

The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.

Ethical statement

All animal experiments were approved by the committee on the care and use of animals in research at Kyungpook National University, South Korea, and conducted in accordance with the guidelines for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (2015-150).


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Copyright information

© The Korean Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine Society and Springer Nature B.V. 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institute for Hard Tissue and Bio-tooth Regeneration (IHBR)Kyungpook National UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea
  2. 2.Department of Oral Pathology and Regenerative Medicine, School of Dentistry, IHBRKyungpook National UniversityDaeguRepublic of Korea

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