The present study was designed to test the hypothesis that osteoclasts appear after or at the same time as the initiation of bone mineralization in developing intramembranous bones. We examined mineral deposition via Von Kossa staining to determine when bone mineralization begins, tartrate- resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) activity and cathepsin K immunoreactivity to identify the presence of osteoclasts, and their mRNA expression levels to assess osteoclastic differentiation in the embryonic mouse mandible. Cathepsin K-immunopositive cells were detected around the same time as the onset of bone mineralization, whereas TRAP-positive cells appeared prior to bone mineralization. Cathepsin K protein was expressed only in multinucleated osteoclasts, whereas TRAP activity was identified in both mono- and multinucleated cells. During bone development, TRAP-positive cells altered their morphology, which was related to the number of their nuclei. The elevated mRNA levels of TRAP and cathepsin K were consistent with the increased percentage of multinucleated osteoclasts and the progression of bone development. Our study revealed that TRAP-positive cells appear prior to bone mineralization, and TRAP- and cathepsin K-positive multinucleated osteoclasts appear at the same time as the initiation of bone mineralization in embryonic mouse mandibles, suggesting that osteoclasts contribute to bone matrix maturation during intramembranous ossification.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)