Morphological features of osteoclasts derived from a co-culture system

Vanessa Nicolin, Giovanna Baldini, Renato Bareggi, Marina Zweyer, Giorgio Zauli, Mauro Vaccarezza, Paola Narducci

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The interaction between the receptor activator of NfKB (RANK) and its ligand receptor activator of NfKB ligand (RANKL) has recently been proven to be pivotal for osteoclast differentiation and activation. The influence of RANK-RANKL signaling on osteoclast formation was established by co-culturing murine osteoblasts (type CRL-12257) and murine mononuclear monocytes (RAW 264.7). The aim of the present study was to examine, by means of morphological techniques, the interaction between these two cell lines grown in the absolute absence of exogenous cytokines and other stimulating factors. Moreover, we wanted to show that our model could provide a system to analyze the bone resorption process. Mineralized matrix induced morphological changes of osteoclasts (OC) by the formation of organized ruffled-border and a large number of secondary lysosomal vesicles. On the contrary, OC grown on glass coverslips without dentin showed no organized ruffled border or secondary lysosomes. The study of the relationship between these two cell types could establish new approaches for a potential pharmacological control of these cell types and tissues in health and disease.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)171-177
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Molecular Histology
Issue number3-4
Publication statusPublished - 2006


  • Osteoclast
  • Pre-osteoclast
  • Receptor activator of NfKB ligand
  • Scanning electron microscopy
  • Transmission electron microscopy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology
  • Histology
  • Physiology
  • Anatomy


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