Intracellular regulation of enzyme secretion from rat osteoclasts and evidence for a functional role in bone resorption.

B. S. Moonga, D. W. Moss, A. Patchell, M. Zaidi

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103 Scopus citations


1. Osteoclasts are known to secrete acid phosphatase, an iron‐containing phosphohydrolase. We have investigated (a) the possibility that acid phosphatase has a functional role in bone resorption and (b) the factors controlling enzyme secretion from isolated rat osteoclasts. 2. Osteoclasts were freshly disaggregated from neonatal rat long bones and dispersed at low densities on devitalized cortical bone slices or on plastic substrate. The levels of acid phosphatase in culture medium were measured spectrophotometrically using 4‐nitrophenyl phosphate as hydrolysable substrate. The total plan area of bone resorbed was quantified by scanning electron microscopy in combination with image processing and analysis. 3. Ninety‐three per cent of the total enzyme activity detected in the supernatant exposed to bone‐osteoclast preparations was resistant to inhibition by D‐tartaric acid and was bound to an antibody known to be highly specific for the osteoclast‐derived isoenzyme, showing that it originated from osteoclasts. 4. A diminution in the level of supernatant enzyme activity achieved by incubating bone‐osteoclast preparations with an antiserum specifically binding the osteoclast isoenzyme, or with a non‐competitive inhibitor, molybdate or with competitive inhibitors, disphosphonates, led to a marked reduction of osteoclastic bone resorption. 5. The rate of the enzyme released into the culture supernatant, whether from resorbing (cultured on bone) or non‐resorbing (cultured on plastic) osteoclasts declined gradually over 22 h, but that from the former was significantly depressed within the first 30 min of incubation. The supernatant enzyme concentration increased linearly up to 3 h; the levels released from resorbing osteoclasts remained consistently lower than those from non‐resorbing cells. 6. Exposure of osteoclasts for 18 h to elevated [Ca2+]o levels produced a concentration‐dependent inhibition of supernatant acid phosphatase levels. In the presence of 20 mM [Ca2+]o enzyme secretion from resorbing osteoclasts was significantly lower than that from non‐resorbing cells. 7. Exposure of bone‐osteoclast preparations to pertussis toxin produced no significant change of acid phosphatase release, while cholera toxin, dibutyryl cyclic AMP and forskolin produced a marked elevation of enzyme secretion. Ionomycin was found to inhibit enzyme release and this was less marked when osteoclasts were incubated on plastic substrate.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 400 WORDS)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)29-45
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Physiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Oct 1990
Externally publishedYes


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