Wortmannin (WT) and 17β-hydroxywortmannin (HWT), which are inhibitors of phosphatidylinositol-3(OH)-kinase (PI3K), have been shown previously to inhibit bone resorption in vitro and in vivo, possibly by interfering with formation of the osteoclast ruffled border. Since migration of osteoclasts also plays an important role in the process of bone resorption, we investigated the effects of these inhibitors on osteoclast morphology and motility. Both HWT and WT caused a sustained decrease in the planar area of osteoclasts in vitro (half maximal effect at 25 and 165 nM, respectively), with the effect of HWT on cell area more readily reversible than WT. These agents also caused accumulation of intracellular vesicles. Time-lapse video microscopy was used to record the migration of osteoclasts in response to macrophage colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) or vehicle, flowing passively from a micropipette positioned 200-400 μm from the cell. M-CSF caused directed migration of osteoclasts, indicating chemotaxis (over 3 h osteoclasts migrated 96 ± 14 μm in response to M-CSF vs. 11 ± 2 μm in control experiments). Both WT (100 or 500 nM) and LY294002 (100 μM), a specific PI3K inhibitor structurally unrelated to WT, significantly inhibited osteoclast chemotaxis in response to M-CSF. Taken together, these effects of WT, HWT, and LY294002 are consistent with an important role for PI3K in regulating cytoskeletal function in osteoclasts. The inhibitory effects of WT and HWT on bone resorption may be due, in part, to impairment of osteoclast motility.