Variations in osteoclast cell number are observed when osteoclast precursor cells are irradiated with atmospheric dielectric barrier discharge plasma. Active species generated by the oxygen plasma control the differentiation function of the osteoclast precursor cells. Long-lifetime active species such as H2O2 and NO x - dissolved in the culture medium decrease the osteoclast number due to the inactivation of the differentiation function of the osteoclast precursor cells. When short-lifetime active species such as O∗ and OH∗ make contact with the osteoclast precursor cells directly, the osteoclast number tends to increase. Short-lifetime active species induce the enhancement of the gene expression of NFATc1.
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