Bone loss: Factors that regulate osteoclast differentiation - an update
1 Lariboisière Hospital, Paris, France
2 Bicêtre Hospital, Bicêtre, France
Arthritis Res 2000, 2:451-456 doi:10.1186/ar127Published: 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.