Active NMDA glutamate receptors are expressed by mammalian osteoclasts

L Espinosa, Cecile Itzstein, H Cheynel, P D Delmas, C Chenu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

59 Citations (Scopus)


1. The N-methyl-D-aspartate (NMDA) glutamate receptor, widely distributed in the mammalian nervous system, has recently been identified in bone. In this study, we have investigated whether NMDA receptors expressed by osteoclasts have an electrophysiological activity. 2. Using the patch clamp technique two agonists of the NMDA receptor, L-glutamate (Glu) and NMDA, were shown to activate whole-cell currents recorded in isolated rabbit osteoclasts. 3. The current-voltage (I-V ) relationships of the currents induced by Glu (IGlu) and NMDA (INMDA) were studied using Mg2+-free solutions. The agonist-induced currents had a linear I-V relationship with a reversal potential near 0 mV, as expected for a voltage independent and non-selective cationic current. 4. IGlu and INMDA were sensitive to specific blockers of NMDA subtype glutamate receptors, such as magnesium ions, (5R, 10S)-(+)-5-methyl-10,11-dihydro-5H-dibenzo[a, d]cyclohepten -5,10-imine (MK-801) and 1-(1,2-diphenylethyl) piperidine (DEP). The block of IGlu and INMDA by these specific antagonists was voltage dependent, strong for negative potentials (inward current) and absent for positive potentials (outward current). 5. These results demonstrate that NMDA receptors are functional in rabbit osteoclasts, and that their electrophysiological and pharmacological properties in these cells are similar to those documented for neuronal cells. Active NMDA receptors expressed by osteoclasts may represent a new target for regulating bone resorption.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-53
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Physiology
Volume518 ( Pt 1)
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 1999


  • Animals
  • Bone Remodeling
  • Dizocilpine Maleate
  • Electric Stimulation
  • Electrophysiology
  • Excitatory Amino Acid Agonists
  • Glutamic Acid
  • Kinetics
  • Membrane Potentials
  • N-Methylaspartate
  • Osteoclasts
  • Patch-Clamp Techniques
  • Rabbits
  • Receptors, N-Methyl-D-Aspartate


Dive into the research topics of 'Active NMDA glutamate receptors are expressed by mammalian osteoclasts'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this