Osteoclast heterogeneity: lessons from osteopetrosis and inflammatory conditions

Vincent Everts, Teun de Vries, Miep H Helfrich

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

89 Citations (Scopus)


The multinucleated osteoclast has a unique function: degradation of mineralized tissues. It is generally taken that all osteoclasts are alike, independent of the skeletal site where they exert their activity. Recent data, however, question this view as they show that osteoclasts at different bony sites appear to differ, for example in the machinery responsible for resorption. Support for the notion that there may be heterogeneity in osteoclasts is obtained from studies in which osteoclast activity is inhibited and from observations in osteopetrosis and inflammatory bone conditions. In this review we discuss the available evidence and propose the existence of bone-site-specific osteoclast heterogeneity.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)757-765
Number of pages9
JournalBiochimica et Biophysica Acta. Molecular Basis of Disease : BBA
Issue number8
Early online date22 May 2009
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2009


  • osteoclast
  • osteoperosis
  • heterogeneity
  • intramembranous bone
  • endochondral bone
  • osteoclast subest


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