In our search for molecules involved in the process of osteoclast differentiation, we examined the surface phenotypes of the preosteoclast- like cells and osteoclast-like multinucleated cells (MNCs) formed in bone marrow cultures, using monoclonal antibodies recognizing different antigen molecules expressed on hematopoietic cells. Among these cell surface antigens, lymphocyte function-associated antigen-1 (LFA-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) were highly expressed on mononuclear cells in the cultures for forming preosteoclast-like mononuclear cells. The double detection of these two antigen molecules with osteoclast-specific antigen and with calcitonin receptor, using a fluorescence-activated cell sorter or autoradiography technique, revealed that LFA-1 and ICAM-1 were expressed on the preosteoclasts. The expression of ICAM-1 was detected on both preosteoclasts and osteoclast-like MNCs, whereas the expression of LFA-1 was restricted to preosteoclasts. We designed a peptide with the sequence of the binding site of ICAM-1 against the ligand LFA-1. In the whole bone marrow, culture system for forming osteoclast-like MNCs, a significant inhibition of MNC formation was observed by the addition of this peptide. These results strongly suggest the involvement of an LFA-1/ICAM-1-interaction in osteoclastogenesis.
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