Interleukin 1 induces multinucleation and bone-resorbing activity of osteoclasts in the absence of osteoblasts/stromal cells

Exp Cell Res. 1999 Feb 25;247(1):84-93. doi: 10.1006/excr.1998.4320.


Interleukin-1 (IL-1) is one of the most potent bone-resorbing factors involved in bone loss associated with inflammation. We previously reported that IL-1 prolonged the survival of multinucleated osteoclast-like cells (OCLs) formed in cocultures of murine osteoblasts/stromal cells and bone marrow cells via the prevention of spontaneously occurring apoptosis. It was reported that macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF/CSF-1) prolongs the survival of OCLs without the help of osteoblasts/stromal cells. The present study was conducted to determine whether IL-1 also directly induces the multinucleation and activation of OCLs. Mononuclear osteoclast-like cells (prefusion osteoclasts; pOCs) were purified using the "disintegrin" echistatin from cocultures of murine osteoblastic cells (MB 1.8 cells) and bone marrow cells. Both IL-1 and M-CSF prolonged the survival and induced the multinucleation of pOCs through their respective receptors. However, actin ring formation (a functional marker of osteoclasts) by multinucleated cells was observed in the pOC cultures treated with IL-1, but not those treated with M-CSF. We previously reported that enriched multinucleated OCLs as well as pOCs placed on bone/dentine slices formed few resorption pits, but their pit-forming activity was greatly increased by the addition of osteoblasts/stromal cells. Here, pit-forming activity of both pOCs and enriched OCLs placed on dentine slices was induced by adding IL-1, even in the absence of osteoblasts/stromal cells. M-CSF failed to induce pit-forming activity in pOC and enriched OCL cultures. These results indicate that IL-1 induces the multinucleation and bone-resorbing activity of osteoclasts even in the absence of osteoblasts/stromal cells.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bone Marrow Cells / chemistry
  • Bone Marrow Cells / drug effects
  • Bone Resorption / metabolism*
  • Cell Differentiation / drug effects
  • Cell Nucleus / physiology*
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Interleukin-1 / physiology*
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor / pharmacology
  • Male
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Osteoblasts / chemistry
  • Osteoblasts / drug effects
  • Osteoclasts / drug effects
  • Osteoclasts / physiology*
  • Stromal Cells / physiology


  • Interleukin-1
  • Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor