The effects of inhibitors of matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) and lysosomal cysteine proteases on osteoclastic pit formation in dentine slices were investigated. A nonspecific cysteine protease inhibitor, E-64, inhibited pit formation on naked slices in a concentration-dependent manner, and at 10 microM E-64 reduced the pit volume by 70%. However, up to 10 microM of the MMP inhibitor, BB-94, did not show any inhibition of pit formation. On the other hand, on slices coated with reconstituted basement membrane, both BB-94 and E-64 at 10 microM showed a marked decrease in pit volume by 73% and 68%, respectively. By a combination of treatment with both BB-94 and E-64, pit formation could be completely suppressed. These results suggest that MMPs are necessary for the migration of precursor and/or immature osteoclasts to bone surface through basement membranes, while cysteine proteases are essential for the osteoclastic degradation of bone collagen.
Copyright 1999 Academic Press.