Osteoclasts: A large multinuclear cell associated with the BONE RESORPTION. An odontoclast, also called cementoclast, is cytomorphologically the same as an osteoclast and is involved in CEMENTUM resorption.Bone Resorption: Bone loss due to osteoclastic activity.RANK Ligand: A transmembrane protein belonging to the tumor necrosis factor superfamily that specifically binds RECEPTOR ACTIVATOR OF NUCLEAR FACTOR-KAPPA B and OSTEOPROTEGERIN. It plays an important role in regulating OSTEOCLAST differentiation and activation.Receptor Activator of Nuclear Factor-kappa B: A tumor necrosis factor receptor family member that is specific for RANK LIGAND and plays a role in bone homeostasis by regulating osteoclastogenesis. It is also expressed on DENDRITIC CELLS where it plays a role in regulating dendritic cell survival. Signaling by the activated receptor occurs through its association with TNF RECEPTOR-ASSOCIATED FACTORS.Osteopetrosis: Excessive formation of dense trabecular bone leading to pathological fractures; OSTEITIS; SPLENOMEGALY with infarct; ANEMIA; and extramedullary hemopoiesis (HEMATOPOIESIS, EXTRAMEDULLARY).Acid Phosphatase: An enzyme that catalyzes the conversion of an orthophosphoric monoester and water to an alcohol and orthophosphate. EC 188.8.131.52.Osteoprotegerin: A secreted member of the TNF receptor superfamily that negatively regulates osteoclastogenesis. It is a soluble decoy receptor of RANK LIGAND that inhibits both CELL DIFFERENTIATION and function of OSTEOCLASTS by inhibiting the interaction between RANK LIGAND and RECEPTOR ACTIVATOR OF NUCLEAR FACTOR-KAPPA B.Cathepsin K: A cysteine protease that is highly expressed in OSTEOCLASTS and plays an essential role in BONE RESORPTION as a potent EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX-degrading enzyme.Bone and Bones: A specialized CONNECTIVE TISSUE that is the main constituent of the SKELETON. The principle cellular component of bone is comprised of OSTEOBLASTS; OSTEOCYTES; and OSTEOCLASTS, while FIBRILLAR COLLAGENS and hydroxyapatite crystals form the BONE MATRIX.Osteoblasts: Bone-forming cells which secrete an EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX. HYDROXYAPATITE crystals are then deposited into the matrix to form bone.Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor: A mononuclear phagocyte colony-stimulating factor (M-CSF) synthesized by mesenchymal cells. The compound stimulates the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of hematopoietic cells of the monocyte-macrophage series. M-CSF is a disulfide-bonded glycoprotein dimer with a MW of 70 kDa. It binds to a specific high affinity receptor (RECEPTOR, MACROPHAGE COLONY-STIMULATING FACTOR).Cell Differentiation: Progressive restriction of the developmental potential and increasing specialization of function that leads to the formation of specialized cells, tissues, and organs.Bone Remodeling: The continuous turnover of BONE MATRIX and mineral that involves first an increase in BONE RESORPTION (osteoclastic activity) and later, reactive BONE FORMATION (osteoblastic activity). The process of bone remodeling takes place in the adult skeleton at discrete foci. The process ensures the mechanical integrity of the skeleton throughout life and plays an important role in calcium HOMEOSTASIS. An imbalance in the regulation of bone remodeling's two contrasting events, bone resorption and bone formation, results in many of the metabolic bone diseases, such as OSTEOPOROSIS.Osteolysis: Dissolution of bone that particularly involves the removal or loss of calcium.Osteogenesis: The process of bone formation. Histogenesis of bone including ossification.Bone Marrow Cells: Cells contained in the bone marrow including fat cells (see ADIPOCYTES); STROMAL CELLS; MEGAKARYOCYTES; and the immediate precursors of most blood cells.Cells, Cultured: Cells propagated in vitro in special media conducive to their growth. Cultured cells are used to study developmental, morphologic, metabolic, physiologic, and genetic processes, among others.NFATC Transcription Factors: A family of transcription factors characterized by the presence of highly conserved calcineurin- and DNA-binding domains. NFAT proteins are activated in the CYTOPLASM by the calcium-dependent phosphatase CALCINEURIN. They transduce calcium signals to the nucleus where they can interact with TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR AP-1 or NF-KAPPA B and initiate GENETIC TRANSCRIPTION of GENES involved in CELL DIFFERENTIATION and development. NFAT proteins stimulate T-CELL activation through the induction of IMMEDIATE-EARLY GENES such as INTERLEUKIN-2.Vacuolar Proton-Translocating ATPases: Proton-translocating ATPases that are involved in acidification of a variety of intracellular compartments.Membrane Glycoproteins: Glycoproteins found on the membrane or surface of cells.Osteocytes: Mature osteoblasts that have become embedded in the BONE MATRIX. They occupy a small cavity, called lacuna, in the matrix and are connected to adjacent osteocytes via protoplasmic projections called canaliculi.Diphosphonates: Organic compounds which contain P-C-P bonds, where P stands for phosphonates or phosphonic acids. These compounds affect calcium metabolism. They inhibit ectopic calcification and slow down bone resorption and bone turnover. Technetium complexes of diphosphonates have been used successfully as bone scanning agents.Calcitonin: A peptide hormone that lowers calcium concentration in the blood. In humans, it is released by thyroid cells and acts to decrease the formation and absorptive activity of osteoclasts. Its role in regulating plasma calcium is much greater in children and in certain diseases than in normal adults.Skull: The SKELETON of the HEAD including the FACIAL BONES and the bones enclosing the BRAIN.Bone Development: The growth and development of bones from fetus to adult. It includes two principal mechanisms of bone growth: growth in length of long bones at the epiphyseal cartilages and growth in thickness by depositing new bone (OSTEOGENESIS) with the actions of OSTEOBLASTS and OSTEOCLASTS.Bone Matrix: Extracellular substance of bone tissue consisting of COLLAGEN fibers, ground substance, and inorganic crystalline minerals and salts.Carrier Proteins: Transport proteins that carry specific substances in the blood or across cell membranes.Osteoporosis: Reduction of bone mass without alteration in the composition of bone, leading to fractures. Primary osteoporosis can be of two major types: postmenopausal osteoporosis (OSTEOPOROSIS, POSTMENOPAUSAL) and age-related or senile osteoporosis.Receptors, Tumor Necrosis Factor: Cell surface receptors that bind TUMOR NECROSIS FACTORS and trigger changes which influence the behavior of cells.Cathepsins: A group of lysosomal proteinases or endopeptidases found in aqueous extracts of a variety of animal tissues. They function optimally within an acidic pH range. The cathepsins occur as a variety of enzyme subtypes including SERINE PROTEASES; ASPARTIC PROTEINASES; and CYSTEINE PROTEASES.Receptor, Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor: A receptor for MACROPHAGE COLONY-STIMULATING FACTOR encoded by the c-fms proto-oncogene (GENES, FMS). It contains an intrinsic protein-tyrosine kinase activity. When activated the receptor undergoes autophosphorylation, phosphorylation of down-stream signaling molecules and rapid down-regulation.Bone Neoplasms: Tumors or cancer located in bone tissue or specific BONES.Isoenzymes: Structurally related forms of an enzyme. Each isoenzyme has the same mechanism and classification, but differs in its chemical, physical, or immunological characteristics.Bone Density Conservation Agents: Agents that inhibit BONE RESORPTION and/or favor BONE MINERALIZATION and BONE REGENERATION. They are used to heal BONE FRACTURES and to treat METABOLIC BONE DISEASES such as OSTEOPOROSIS.Bone Density: The amount of mineral per square centimeter of BONE. This is the definition used in clinical practice. Actual bone density would be expressed in grams per milliliter. It is most frequently measured by X-RAY ABSORPTIOMETRY or TOMOGRAPHY, X RAY COMPUTED. Bone density is an important predictor for OSTEOPOROSIS.Mice, Inbred C57BLSignal Transduction: The intracellular transfer of information (biological activation/inhibition) through a signal pathway. In each signal transduction system, an activation/inhibition signal from a biologically active molecule (hormone, neurotransmitter) is mediated via the coupling of a receptor/enzyme to a second messenger system or to an ion channel. Signal transduction plays an important role in activating cellular functions, cell differentiation, and cell proliferation. Examples of signal transduction systems are the GAMMA-AMINOBUTYRIC ACID-postsynaptic receptor-calcium ion channel system, the receptor-mediated T-cell activation pathway, and the receptor-mediated activation of phospholipases. Those coupled to membrane depolarization or intracellular release of calcium include the receptor-mediated activation of cytotoxic functions in granulocytes and the synaptic potentiation of protein kinase activation. Some signal transduction pathways may be part of larger signal transduction pathways; for example, protein kinase activation is part of the platelet activation signal pathway.Alendronate: A nonhormonal medication for the treatment of postmenopausal osteoporosis in women. This drug builds healthy bone, restoring some of the bone loss as a result of osteoporosis.Mice, Knockout: Strains of mice in which certain GENES of their GENOMES have been disrupted, or "knocked-out". To produce knockouts, using RECOMBINANT DNA technology, the normal DNA sequence of the gene being studied is altered to prevent synthesis of a normal gene product. Cloned cells in which this DNA alteration is successful are then injected into mouse EMBRYOS to produce chimeric mice. The chimeric mice are then bred to yield a strain in which all the cells of the mouse contain the disrupted gene. Knockout mice are used as EXPERIMENTAL ANIMAL MODELS for diseases (DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL) and to clarify the functions of the genes.Bone Diseases: Diseases of BONES.Coculture Techniques: A technique of culturing mixed cell types in vitro to allow their synergistic or antagonistic interactions, such as on CELL DIFFERENTIATION or APOPTOSIS. Coculture can be of different types of cells, tissues, or organs from normal or disease states.Macrophages: The relatively long-lived phagocytic cell of mammalian tissues that are derived from blood MONOCYTES. Main types are PERITONEAL MACROPHAGES; ALVEOLAR MACROPHAGES; HISTIOCYTES; KUPFFER CELLS of the liver; and OSTEOCLASTS. They may further differentiate within chronic inflammatory lesions to EPITHELIOID CELLS or may fuse to form FOREIGN BODY GIANT CELLS or LANGHANS GIANT CELLS. (from The Dictionary of Cell Biology, Lackie and Dow, 3rd ed.)Osteitis Deformans: A disease marked by repeated episodes of increased bone resorption followed by excessive attempts at repair, resulting in weakened, deformed bones of increased mass. The resultant architecture of the bone assumes a mosaic pattern in which the fibers take on a haphazard pattern instead of the normal parallel symmetry.Bone Diseases, MetabolicStem Cells: Relatively undifferentiated cells that retain the ability to divide and proliferate throughout postnatal life to provide progenitor cells that can differentiate into specialized cells.TartratesReceptors, Cytoplasmic and Nuclear: Intracellular receptors that can be found in the cytoplasm or in the nucleus. They bind to extracellular signaling molecules that migrate through or are transported across the CELL MEMBRANE. Many members of this class of receptors occur in the cytoplasm and are transported to the CELL NUCLEUS upon ligand-binding where they signal via DNA-binding and transcription regulation. Also included in this category are receptors found on INTRACELLULAR MEMBRANES that act via mechanisms similar to CELL SURFACE RECEPTORS.TNF Receptor-Associated Factor 6: A signal transducing tumor necrosis factor receptor associated factor that is involved in regulation of NF-KAPPA B signalling and activation of JNK MITOGEN-ACTIVATED PROTEIN KINASES.X-Ray Microtomography: X-RAY COMPUTERIZED TOMOGRAPHY with resolution in the micrometer range.Parathyroid Hormone: A polypeptide hormone (84 amino acid residues) secreted by the PARATHYROID GLANDS which performs the essential role of maintaining intracellular CALCIUM levels in the body. Parathyroid hormone increases intracellular calcium by promoting the release of CALCIUM from BONE, increases the intestinal absorption of calcium, increases the renal tubular reabsorption of calcium, and increases the renal excretion of phosphates.Osteopontin: A negatively-charged extracellular matrix protein that plays a role in the regulation of BONE metabolism and a variety of other biological functions. Cell signaling by osteopontin may occur through a cell adhesion sequence that recognizes INTEGRIN ALPHA-V BETA-3.Glycoproteins: Conjugated protein-carbohydrate compounds including mucins, mucoid, and amyloid glycoproteins.Femur: The longest and largest bone of the skeleton, it is situated between the hip and the knee.Calcitriol: The physiologically active form of vitamin D. It is formed primarily in the kidney by enzymatic hydroxylation of 25-hydroxycholecalciferol (CALCIFEDIOL). Its production is stimulated by low blood calcium levels and parathyroid hormone. Calcitriol increases intestinal absorption of calcium and phosphorus, and in concert with parathyroid hormone increases bone resorption.Calcification, Physiologic: Process by which organic tissue becomes hardened by the physiologic deposit of calcium salts.Monocyte-Macrophage Precursor Cells: Parent cells in the lineage that gives rise to MONOCYTES and MACROPHAGES.Integrin beta3: An integrin beta subunit of approximately 85-kDa in size which has been found in INTEGRIN ALPHAIIB-containing and INTEGRIN ALPHAV-containing heterodimers. Integrin beta3 occurs as three alternatively spliced isoforms, designated beta3A-C.Tibia: The second longest bone of the skeleton. It is located on the medial side of the lower leg, articulating with the FIBULA laterally, the TALUS distally, and the FEMUR proximally.Receptors, Vitronectin: Receptors such as INTEGRIN ALPHAVBETA3 that bind VITRONECTIN with high affinity and play a role in cell migration. They also bind FIBRINOGEN; VON WILLEBRAND FACTOR; osteopontin; and THROMBOSPONDINS.Cell Fusion: Fusion of somatic cells in vitro or in vivo, which results in somatic cell hybridization.Proto-Oncogene Proteins pp60(c-src): Membrane-associated tyrosine-specific kinases encoded by the c-src genes. They have an important role in cellular growth control. Truncation of carboxy-terminal residues in pp60(c-src) leads to PP60(V-SRC) which has the ability to transform cells. This kinase pp60 c-src should not be confused with csk, also known as c-src kinase.Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-fos: Cellular DNA-binding proteins encoded by the c-fos genes (GENES, FOS). They are involved in growth-related transcriptional control. c-fos combines with c-jun (PROTO-ONCOGENE PROTEINS C-JUN) to form a c-fos/c-jun heterodimer (TRANSCRIPTION FACTOR AP-1) that binds to the TRE (TPA-responsive element) in promoters of certain genes.Monocytes: Large, phagocytic mononuclear leukocytes produced in the vertebrate BONE MARROW and released into the BLOOD; contain a large, oval or somewhat indented nucleus surrounded by voluminous cytoplasm and numerous organelles.Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction: A variation of the PCR technique in which cDNA is made from RNA via reverse transcription. The resultant cDNA is then amplified using standard PCR protocols.Cell Line: Established cell cultures that have the potential to propagate indefinitely.Microphthalmia-Associated Transcription Factor: A basic helix-loop-helix leucine zipper transcription factor that regulates the CELL DIFFERENTIATION and development of a variety of cell types including MELANOCYTES; OSTEOCLASTS; and RETINAL PIGMENT EPITHELIUM. Mutations in MITF protein have been associated with OSTEOPETROSIS and WAARDENBURG SYNDROME.Osteosclerosis: An abnormal hardening or increased density of bone tissue.Giant Cells: Multinucleated masses produced by the fusion of many cells; often associated with viral infections. In AIDS, they are induced when the envelope glycoprotein of the HIV virus binds to the CD4 antigen of uninfected neighboring T4 cells. The resulting syncytium leads to cell death and thus may account for the cytopathic effect of the virus.NF-kappa B: Ubiquitous, inducible, nuclear transcriptional activator that binds to enhancer elements in many different cell types and is activated by pathogenic stimuli. The NF-kappa B complex is a heterodimer composed of two DNA-binding subunits: NF-kappa B1 and relA.RNA, Messenger: RNA sequences that serve as templates for protein synthesis. Bacterial mRNAs are generally primary transcripts in that they do not require post-transcriptional processing. Eukaryotic mRNA is synthesized in the nucleus and must be exported to the cytoplasm for translation. Most eukaryotic mRNAs have a sequence of polyadenylic acid at the 3' end, referred to as the poly(A) tail. The function of this tail is not known for certain, but it may play a role in the export of mature mRNA from the nucleus as well as in helping stabilize some mRNA molecules by retarding their degradation in the cytoplasm.Dentin: The hard portion of the tooth surrounding the pulp, covered by enamel on the crown and cementum on the root, which is harder and denser than bone but softer than enamel, and is thus readily abraded when left unprotected. (From Jablonski, Dictionary of Dentistry, 1992)Mice, Transgenic: Laboratory mice that have been produced from a genetically manipulated EGG or EMBRYO, MAMMALIAN.Mice, Inbred ICRCell Survival: The span of viability of a cell characterized by the capacity to perform certain functions such as metabolism, growth, reproduction, some form of responsiveness, and adaptability.Ovariectomy: The surgical removal of one or both ovaries.Giant Cell Tumors: Tumors of bone tissue or synovial or other soft tissue characterized by the presence of giant cells. The most common are giant cell tumor of tendon sheath and GIANT CELL TUMOR OF BONE.Cell Count: The number of CELLS of a specific kind, usually measured per unit volume or area of sample.Gene Expression Regulation: Any of the processes by which nuclear, cytoplasmic, or intercellular factors influence the differential control (induction or repression) of gene action at the level of transcription or translation.