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Bone loss: Factors that regulate osteoclast differentiation - an update

Sophie Roux12 and Philippe Orcel1

Author Affiliations

1 Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France

2 Bicêtre Hospital, Bicêtre, France

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Arthritis Res 2000, 2:451-456  doi:10.1186/ar127

Published: 6 September 2000


Osteoclast activation is a critical cellular process for pathological bone resorption, such as erosions in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) or generalized bone loss. Among many factors triggering excessive osteoclast activity, cytokines such as IL-1 or tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α play a central role. New members of the TNF receptor ligand family (namely receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB [RANK] and RANK ligand [RANKL]) have been discovered whose cross-interaction is mandatory for the differentiation of osteoclasts from hemopoietic precursors, in both physiological and pathological situations. Osteoprotegerin, a decoy receptor which blocks this interaction, decreases osteoclast activity and could have a fascinating therapeutic potential in conditions associated with upregulated bone resorption.

bone cytokines; differentiation; osteoclast; osteoprotegerin; RANK; RANKL