Osteoclast differentiation antigen

T. Kukita, A. Kukita

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Osteoclasts are the primary cells which perform bone resorption. The origin of these multinucleated giant cells is the haematopoietic stem cells. The differentiation pathway of the osteoclasts has so far been well studied and the cell-lineage of these bone resorbing cells is considered to be close but not identical to the monocytes/macrophages. Owing to the development of in vitro culture systems for evaluating osteoclast differentiation, it has been elucidated that various cytokines are involved in the differentiation of the osteoclasts. However, there is still ambiguity concerning the molecular mechanism of the differentiation of the osteoclasts. One approach for clarifying the molecular mechanism is to find unique antigen molecules involved in the process of osteoclast differentiation. In this review article, we introduce such immunological studies concerning osteoclast differentiation. We also refer to our recent establishment of a panel of monoclonal antibodies recognizing rat osteoclasts. One of the monoclonal antibodies recognizes cell surface antigen (Kat1-antigen) expressed on cells in osteoclast-lineage and not on monocytes/macrophages. Cross-linking of the cell surface antigen using this monoclonal antibody showed that the Kat1-antigen is the unique cell surface molecule involved in the regulation of the affinity of the calcitonin receptor and also involved in the modulation of the bone resorption. In this review article, we overview, the current issues which should be elucidated for understanding the differentiation and activation of the osteoclasts. We further emphasize the utility of the immunological approach for solving these current target issues.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)821-830
Number of pages10
JournalHistology and histopathology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1996

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology


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