Generation of Osteoclasts In Vitro, and Assay of Osteoclast Activity

  • Naoyuki Takahashi
  • Nobuyuki Udagawa
  • Yasuhiro Kobayashi
  • Tatsuo Suda
Part of the Methods in Molecular Medicine book series (MIMM, volume 135)


Osteoclasts are bone-resorbing multinucleated cells derived from the monocytemacrophage lineage. The authors have developed a mouse marrow culture system and a coculture system of mouse osteoblasts and hemopoietic cells, in which osteoclasts are formed in response to various osteotropic factors such as 1α,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3, parathyroid hormone, prostaglandin E2, and interleukin -11. Recent studies have revealed that osteoblasts express two cytokines essential for osteoclastogenesis: receptor activator of nuclear factor κB ligand (RANKL) and macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF). Using RANKL and M-CSF, we can induce osteoclasts from monocytemacrophage lineage cells even in the absence of osteoblasts. This chapter describes the methods for osteoclast formation in vitro in the presence and absence of osteoblasts, and for pit-formation assay using dentine slices and osteoclasts formed in vitro. These culture systems have made it possible to investigate each step of osteoclast development and function separately.

Key Words

Osteoclast osteoblast RANKL RANK M-CSF bone marrow cell RAW264.7 cell collagen gel-culture 1α,25-(OH)2D3 TRAP calcitonin bisphosphonate pit assay 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press Inc., Totowa, NJ 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Naoyuki Takahashi
    • 1
  • Nobuyuki Udagawa
    • 2
  • Yasuhiro Kobayashi
    • 1
  • Tatsuo Suda
    • 3
  1. 1.Institute for Oral ScienceMatsumoto Dental UniversityNaganoJapan
  2. 2.Department of BiochemistryMatsumoto Dental UniversityNaganoJapan
  3. 3.Research Centre for Genomic MedicineSaitama Medical SchoolSaitamaJapan

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