In vitro models for osteoclast recruitment

  • Adrienne M. Flanagan
  • Usha Sarma


Osteoclasts derive from a mononuclear haematopoietic precursor and are cells that resorb bone. They are rare cells, particularly in physiological states in adult primates, and osteoclasts that exist are difficult to harvest because they are situated on calcified bone surfaces within the medullary cavity. For these reasons the generation of osteoclasts from precursors using in vitro models has been of major interest to those involved in studying the biology of bone. The reproducible in vitro generation of osteoclasts, using a variety of murine organ and cell culture techniques, is well documented and reviewed and has advanced our knowledge of osteoclast biology [1–10]. The information accrued from these studies has recently led to the formation of cell lines in which a proportion of the cells formed are osteoclasts [8, 11]. Despite considerable effort, analogous studies using human haematopoietic cells have been less successful than those reported for murine systems and this chapter will concentrate on the difficulties involved in generating human osteoclasts in vitro.


Bone Resorption Osteoclast Formation Osteoclast Precursor Bone Slice Human Osteoclast 
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© Chapman and Hall Ltd 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  • Adrienne M. Flanagan
  • Usha Sarma

There are no affiliations available

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