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Biological Procedures Online

Open Access

In vitro and in vivo assays for osteoclast apoptosis

  • Toru Akiyama1,
  • Tsuyoshi Miyazaki1,
  • Phillippe Bouillet2,
  • Kozo Nakamura1,
  • Andreas Strasser2 and
  • Sakae Tanaka1Email author
Biological Procedures Online7:710048

Received: 4 January 2005

Accepted: 4 April 2005


Mature osteoclasts, multinucleated giant cells responsible for bone resorption, are terminally differentiated cells with a short life span. Recently, we have demonstrated that osteoclast apoptosis is regulated by ERK activity and Bcl-2 family member Bim. In this paper, we summarize the methods we used to study osteoclast apoptosis in vitro and in vivo. Using adenovirus and retrovirus vectors, we were able to introduce foreign genes into osteoclasts and examine their effects on osteoclast survival in vitro. In addition, we established the modified methods for in situ hybridization and BrdU labeling of bone sections from mice to study osteoclast survival in vivo. The detailed methods described here could be useful for studying the biological process in bone.

Indexing terms

ApoptosisMacrophage Colony-Stimulating FactorOsteoclasts