The characteristics of a monoclonal antibody produced against osteoclast-like multinucleated cells (MNCs) formed in rat bone marrow cultures were examined immunohistochemically and biochemically. The in vitro immunization was performed using as immunogen the MNCs from rat bone marrow cell culture, which revealed many characteristics of osteoclasts. After screening and cloning of hybridomas, the monoclonal antibody HOK 1 was obtained. This antibody reacted weakly with stromal cells and intensely with both MNCs and their putative migratory traces on culture dishes. Immunofluorescent examination of paraffin sections revealed intense reactivity on the epithelium of the choroid plexus, the ileum and the proximal-convoluted tubules of the kidney, and also on bone cells such as osteocytes, osteoblasts, and osteoclasts. Western blotting using purified rat osteopontin verified that the antigen recognized by HOK 1 was osteopontin. Positive HOK 1 immunoreactivity was further observed in the resorption lacunae formed by a culture of MNCs on human tooth slices and on the surface of osteoclasts. The present data suggested that osteopontin is preferentially present on the resorption lacunae in resorbing calcified matrices and that osteoclasts under a specific state might trap this protein on their cell surface.
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