The discovery of the RANKL/RANK/OPG system in the mid 1990s for the regulation of bone resorption has led to major advances in our understanding of how bone modeling and remodeling are regulated. It had been known for many years before this discovery that osteoblastic stromal cells regulated osteoclast formation, but it had not been anticipated that they would do this through expression of members of the TNF superfamily: receptor activator of NF-kappaB ligand (RANKL) and osteoprotegerin (OPG), or that these cytokines and signaling through receptor activator of NF-kappaB (RANK) would have extensive functions beyond regulation of bone remodeling. RANKL/RANK signaling regulates osteoclast formation, activation and survival in normal bone modeling and remodeling and in a variety of pathologic conditions characterized by increased bone turnover. OPG protects bone from excessive resorption by binding to RANKL and preventing it from binding to RANK. Thus, the relative concentration of RANKL and OPG in bone is a major determinant of bone mass and strength. Here, we review our current understanding of the role of the RANKL/RANK/OPG system in bone modeling and remodeling.