Formation of non-resorbing osteoclasts from peripheral blood mononuclear cells of patients with malignant juvenile osteopetrosis

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The genetic defects that cause human infantile malignant osteopetrosis, a disease with recessive inheritance characterized by lack of bone resorption and the presence of large numbers of inactive osteoclasts, are only partially known. Studies of osteoclasts in vitro may help to identify or exclude candidate genes in this disorder. Here, we established co-cultures of peripheral blood mononuclear cells with mouse fetal bone rudiments to generate osteoclasts from three infants with malignant osteopetrosis. Osteoclasts generated in vitro displayed the same inability to form ruffled borders and resorb bone as seen in bone biopsies. This culture model may contribute to understanding the pathogenesis of this disease.

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