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RAW 264.7 macrophage cells differentiate into osteoclast-like cells in the presence of RANKL. Participation of M-CSF in RANKL-induced osteoclast formation of RAW 264.7 cells was examined. TRAP-positive osteoclast-like cells appeared in RAW 264.7 cells cultured in the presence of RANKL. RANKL-induced osteoclast formation was markedly inhibited by anti-M-CSF antibody. RANKL augmented M-CSF mRNA expression and M-CSF production in RAW 264.7 cells. Further, anti-M-CSF antibody inhibited the expression of RANK, c-fms, c-fos and TRAP mRNA in RANKL-stimulated RAW 264.7 cells. However, anti-M-CSF antibody did not affect the expression of DC-STAMP in the stimulated cells. Therefore, RANKL was suggested to induce osteoclast formation in RAW 264.7 cells via augmented production of M-CSF. The putative role of M-CSF in RANKL-induced osteoclast formation of RAW 264.7 cells is discussed.