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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Identification of a human peripheral blood monocyte subset that differentiates into osteoclasts

Yukiko Komano12, Toshihiro Nanki1*, Kenji Hayashida3, Ken Taniguchi4 and Nobuyuki Miyasaka12

Author Affiliations

1 Department of Medicine and Rheumatology, Graduate School, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan

2 The 21st Century Center of Excellence Program for the Frontier Research on Molecular Destruction and Reconstruction of Tooth and Bone, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo 113-8519, Japan

3 Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Hoshigaoka Koseinenkin Hospital, Osaka 573-8511, Japan

4 Division of Rheumatic Diseases, Tokyo Metropolitan Bokutoh Hospital, Tokyo 130-0022, Japan

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Arthritis Research & Therapy 2006, 8:R152  doi:10.1186/ar2046

Published: 21 September 2006

Abstract

Increased bone resorption mediated by osteoclasts causes various diseases such as osteoporosis and bone erosion in rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Osteoclasts are derived from the monocyte/macrophage lineage, but the precise origin remains unclear. In the present study, we show that the purified CD16- human peripheral blood monocyte subset, but not the CD16+ monocyte subset, differentiates into osteoclast by stimulation with receptor activator of NF-κB ligand (RANKL) in combination with macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF). Integrin-β3 mRNA and the integrin-αvβ3 heterodimer were only expressed on CD16- monocytes, when they were stimulated with RANKL + M-CSF. Downregulation of β3-subunit expression by small interfering RNA targeting β3 abrogated osteoclastogenesis from the CD16- monocyte subset. In contrast, the CD16+ monocyte subset expressed larger amounts of tumor necrosis factor alpha and IL-6 than the CD16- subset, which was further enhanced by RANKL stimulation. Examination of RA synovial tissue showed accumulation of both CD16+ and CD16- macrophages. Our results suggest that peripheral blood monocytes consist of two functionally heterogeneous subsets with distinct responses to RANKL. Osteoclasts seem to originate from CD16- monocytes, and integrin β3 is necessary for osteoclastogenesis. Blockade of accumulation and activation of CD16- monocytes could therefore be a beneficial approach as an anti-bone resorptive therapy, especially for RA.