Biology of the Osteoclast

  • R. Baron
  • M. Chakraborty
  • D. Chatterjee
  • W. Horne
  • A. Lomri
  • J.-H. Ravesloot
Part of the Handbook of Experimental Pharmacology book series (HEP, volume 107)


The osteoclast is the cell responsible for the resorption of the extracellular bone matrix. Under physiological conditions, bone resorption plays an essential role in the homeostasis of both the skeleton and serum calcium. This cellular process is also essential in the growth and remodeling of bone, where it is tightly coupled to the process of bone formation by the osteoblast. It is the integrated functions of these two cell types that lead to the quantitative and qualitative maintenance of the skeleton, to the changes in size and shape of the individual bones during growth, and to bone repair after trauma or fracture. On the other hand, it is the disruption of the coupling between bone resorption and formation that leads to abnormally dense (osteopetrosis and osteosclerosis) or porous bone (osteoporosis). A coupled but high resorption rate characterizes high bone-turnover diseases, such as hyperparathyroidism or Paget’s disease, and leads to the disruption of the architecture and function of the skeleton.


Bone Resorption Actin Filament Lysosomal Enzyme Osteoclastic Bone Resorption Cell BioI 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. Baron
  • M. Chakraborty
  • D. Chatterjee
  • W. Horne
  • A. Lomri
  • J.-H. Ravesloot

There are no affiliations available

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