Osteoblast-osteoclast interactions

Connect Tissue Res. 2018 Mar;59(2):99-107. doi: 10.1080/03008207.2017.1290085. Epub 2017 Mar 21.


Bone homeostasis depends on the resorption of bones by osteoclasts and formation of bones by the osteoblasts. Imbalance of this tightly coupled process can cause diseases such as osteoporosis. Thus, the mechanisms that regulate communication between osteoclasts and osteoblasts are critical to bone cell biology. It has been shown that osteoblasts and osteoclasts can communicate with each other through direct cell-cell contact, cytokines, and extracellular matrix interaction. Osteoblasts can affect osteoclast formation, differentiation, or apoptosis through several pathways, such as OPG/RANKL/RANK, RANKL/LGR4/RANK, Ephrin2/ephB4, and Fas/FasL pathways. Conversely, osteoclasts also influence formation of bones by osteoblasts via the d2 isoform of the vacuolar (H+) ATPase (v-ATPase) V0 domain (Atp6v0d2), complement component 3a, semaphorin 4D or microRNAs. In addition, cytokines released from the resorbed bone matrix, such as TGF-β and IGF-1, also affect the activity of osteoblasts. Drugs could be developed by enhancing or restricting some of these interactions. Several reviews have been performed on the osteoblast-osteoclast communication. However, few reviews have shown the research advances in the recent years. In this review, we summarized the current knowledge on osteoblast-osteoclast communication.

Keywords: Bone; bone remodeling; communication; osteoblast; osteoclast.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Cell Communication*
  • Cell Differentiation*
  • Humans
  • Osteoblasts / cytology
  • Osteoblasts / metabolism*
  • Osteoclasts / cytology
  • Osteoclasts / metabolism*
  • Osteogenesis*
  • Signal Transduction*