Removal of Osteoclast Bone Resorption Products by Transcytosis

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Science  11 Apr 1997:
Vol. 276, Issue 5310, pp. 270-273
DOI: 10.1126/science.276.5310.270

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Osteoclasts are multinucleated cells responsible for bone resorption. During the resorption cycle, osteoclasts undergo dramatic changes in their polarity, and resorbing cells reveal four functionally and structurally different membrane domains. Bone degradation products, both organic and inorganic, were endocytosed from the ruffled border membrane. They were then found to be transported in vesicles through the cell to the plasma membrane domain, located in the middle of the basal membrane, where they were liberated into the extracellular space. These results explain how resorbing osteoclasts can simultaneously remove large amounts of matrix degradation products and penetrate into bone.

  • * These authors contributed equally to this work.

  • To whom correspondence should be addressed. E-mail: vaananen{at}

  • Present address: Department of Medical Cell Biology, University of Uppsala, S-75123 Uppsala, Sweden.

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