It is well established that multinucleation is central for osteoclastic bone resorption. However, our knowledge on the mechanisms regulating how many nuclei an osteoclast will have is limited. The objective of this study was to investigate donor-related variations in the fusion potential of in vitro-generated osteoclasts. Therefore, CD14 monocytes were isolated from 49 healthy female donors. Donor demographics were compared to the in vivo bone biomarker levels and their monocytes’ ability to differentiate into osteoclasts, showing that: (1) C-terminal telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX) and procollagen type I N-terminal propeptide (PINP) levels increase with age, (2) the number of nuclei per osteoclast in vitro increases with age, and (3) there is a positive correlation between the number of nuclei per osteoclast in vitro and CTX levels in vivo. Furthermore, the expression levels of the gene encoding dendritic cell-specific transmembrane protein () of osteoclasts in vitro correlated positively with the number of nuclei per osteoclast, CTX levels in vivo, and donor age. Our results furthermore suggest that these changes in gene expression may be mediated through age-related changes in DNA methylation levels. We conclude that both intrinsic factors and age-induced increase in fusion potential of osteoclasts could be contributing factors for the enhanced bone resorption in vivo, possibly caused by increased expression levels of .

References

PubMed