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      Signaling Axis in Osteoclast Biology and Therapeutic Targeting in the RANKL/RANK/OPG System

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          Bone integrity is maintained through a balance between bone formation and bone resorption, and osteoclasts are primary cells involved in bone resorption. Recent studies have revealed an essential role of macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) and receptor activator of nuclear factor kappa-B ligand (RANKL) in the development of osteoclasts, and detailed molecular cascades that induce osteoclast differentiation, activation and apoptosis have been clarified. Osteoclasts are involved in various pathologic conditions, such as osteoporosis, rheumatoid arthritis and tumor-induced bone disease, which are characterized by abnormal bone resorption, and the finding of RANKL has provided us a good therapeutic target for such pathologic conditions.

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          Most cited references 61

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          Activated T cells regulate bone loss and joint destruction in adjuvant arthritis through osteoprotegerin ligand.

          Bone remodelling and bone loss are controlled by a balance between the tumour necrosis factor family molecule osteoprotegerin ligand (OPGL) and its decoy receptor osteoprotegerin (OPG). In addition, OPGL regulates lymph node organogenesis, lymphocyte development and interactions between T cells and dendritic cells in the immune system. The OPGL receptor, RANK, is expressed on chondrocytes, osteoclast precursors and mature osteoclasts. OPGL expression in T cells is induced by antigen receptor engagement, which suggests that activated T cells may influence bone metabolism through OPGL and RANK. Here we report that activated T cells can directly trigger osteoclastogenesis through OPGL. Systemic activation of T cells in vivo leads to an OPGL-mediated increase in osteoclastogenesis and bone loss. In a T-cell-dependent model of rat adjuvant arthritis characterized by severe joint inflammation, bone and cartilage destruction and crippling, blocking of OPGL through osteoprotegerin treatment at the onset of disease prevents bone and cartilage destruction but not inflammation. These results show that both systemic and local T-cell activation can lead to OPGL production and subsequent bone loss, and they provide a novel paradigm for T cells as regulators of bone physiology.
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            Proapoptotic Bcl-2 relative Bim required for certain apoptotic responses, leukocyte homeostasis, and to preclude autoimmunity.

            Apoptosis can be triggered by members of the Bcl-2 protein family, such as Bim, that share only the BH3 domain with this family. Gene targeting in mice revealed important physiological roles for Bim. Lymphoid and myeloid cells accumulated, T cell development was perturbed, and most older mice accumulated plasma cells and succumbed to autoimmune kidney disease. Lymphocytes were refractory to apoptotic stimuli such as cytokine deprivation, calcium ion flux, and microtubule perturbation but not to others. Thus, Bim is required for hematopoietic homeostasis and as a barrier to autoimmunity. Moreover, particular death stimuli appear to activate apoptosis through distinct BH3-only proteins.
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              The murine mutation osteopetrosis is in the coding region of the macrophage colony stimulating factor gene.

              Mice homozygous for the recessive mutation osteopetrosis (op) on chromosome 3 have a restricted capacity for bone remodelling, and are severely deficient in mature macrophages and osteoclasts. Both cell populations originate from a common haemopoietic progenitor. As op/op mice are not cured by transplants of normal bone marrow cells, the defects in op/op mice may be associated with an abnormal haematopoietic microenvironment rather than with an intrinsic defect in haematopoietic progenitors. To investigate the molecular and biochemical basis of the defects caused by the op mutation, we established primary fibroblast cell lines from op/op mice and tested the ability of these cell lines to support the proliferation of macrophage progenitors. We show that op/op fibroblasts are defective in production of functional macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF), although its messenger RNA (Csfm mRNA) is present at normal levels. This defect in M-CSF production and the recent mapping of the Csfm structural gene near op on chromosome 3 suggest that op is a mutation within the Csfm gene itself. We have sequenced Csfm complementary DNA prepared from op/op fibroblasts and found a single base pair insertion in the coding region of the Csfm gene that generates a stop codon 21 base pairs downstream. Thus, the op mutation is within the Csfm coding region and we conclude that the pathological changes in this mutant result from the absence of M-CSF.

                Author and article information

                Am J Nephrol
                American Journal of Nephrology
                S. Karger AG
                September 2007
                25 July 2007
                : 27
                : 5
                : 466-478
                Department of Orthopedic Surgery, Faculty of Medicine, University of Tokyo, Tokyo, Japan
                106484 Am J Nephrol 2007;27:466–478
                © 2007 S. Karger AG, Basel

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                Page count
                Figures: 7, References: 86, Pages: 13
                Kidney and beyond – Review Article


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