Bone resorption in the joints is the characteristic finding in patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Osteoclast-like cells are present in the synovial tissues and invade the bone of patients with RA. The characteristics of these cells are not completely known. In the work reported here, we generated these cells from peripheral-blood monocytes from healthy individuals. The monocytes were co-cultured with nurse-like cells from synovial tissues of patients with RA (RA-NLCs). Within 5 weeks of culture, the monocytes were activated and differentiated into mononuclear cells positive for CD14 and tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP). These mononuclear cells then differentiated into multinucleated giant bone-resorbing cells after stimulation with IL-3, IL-5, IL-7, and/or granulocyte-macrophage-colony-stimulating factor. TRAP-positive cells with similar characteristics were found in synovial fluid from patients with RA. These results indicate that multinucleated giant bone-resorbing cells are generated from monocytes in two steps: first, RA-NLCs induce monocytes to differentiate into TRAP-positive mononuclear cells, which are then induced by cytokines to differentiate into multinucleated giant bone-resorbing cells.