Isolation and purification of rabbit osteoclasts

Fraser Coxon, Michael J Rogers, Julie C Crockett

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Citations (Scopus)


Newborn rabbits provide a useful and readily available source of authentic mature osteoclasts, which can be easily isolated directly from the long bones in relatively large numbers, compared to other rodents. Primary cultures of authentic rabbit osteoclasts on resorbable substrates in vitro are an ideal model of osteoclast behaviour in vivo, and for some studies may be preferable to osteoclast-like cells generated in vitro from bone marrow cultures or from human peripheral blood, for example in assessing osteoclast-mediated bone resorption independently of effects on osteoclast formation. Rabbits also provide a particularly useful model for determining the effects of pharmacological agents on osteoclasts in vivo, by isolating osteoclasts using immunomagnetic bead separation (with an antibody to α(V)β(3)) at the desired time following in vivo administration of the drug. Since osteoclasts are abundant in newborn rabbits, sufficient numbers of osteoclasts can be retrieved using this method for molecular and biochemical analyses.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)145-158
Number of pages14
JournalMethods in Molecular Biology
Early online date14 Oct 2011
Publication statusPublished - 2012


  • acid phosphatase
  • actins
  • animals
  • bone resorption
  • cells, cultured
  • immunohistochemistry
  • immunomagnetic separation
  • integrin alphaVbeta3
  • osteoclasts
  • rabbits


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