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, 16 (1), 53-7

Giant Cell Formation and Function


Giant Cell Formation and Function

William G Brodbeck et al. Curr Opin Hematol.


Purpose of review: To provide insight into the current state of understanding regarding the molecular and cellular mechanisms underlying the formation and function of various types of multinucleated giant cells.

Recent findings: Recent studies involving mainly osteoclasts and foreign body giant cells have revealed a number of common factors, for example, vitronectin, an adhesion protein, dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein, a fusion factor, and macrophage fusion receptor, that contribute to giant cell formation and function. Insight into common molecules, receptors, and mediators of adhesion and fusion mechanisms of giant cell formation have been complicated by the wide diversity of species, models, and cell types utilized in these studies.

Summary: These recently identified factors together with the well known osteoclast receptor, alphavbeta3, may serve as potential therapeutic targets for the modulation and inhibition of multinucleated giant cell formation and function. Further studies on intracellular and intercellular signaling mechanisms modulating multinucleated giant cell formation and function are necessary for the identification of therapeutic targets as well as a better understanding of giant cell biology.


Figure 1
Figure 1
Foreign body giant cell formation: Inflammatory and wound healing responses to implanted medical devices, prostheses, and biomaterials.

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