Published: June 2023
The bone resorbing osteoclasts are a complex type of cell essential for in vivo bone remodeling. There is no consensus on medium composition and seeding density for in vitro osteoclastogenesis, despite the importance thereof on osteoclastic differentiation and activity. The aim of this study was to investigate the relative effect of monocyte or peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) seeding density, osteoclastic supplement concentration and priming on the in vitro generation of functional osteoclasts, and to explore and evaluate the usefulness of commonly used markers for osteoclast cultures. Morphology and osteoclast formation were analyzed with fluorescence imaging for tartrate resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) and integrin β3 (Iβ3). TRAP release was analyzed from supernatant samples, and resorption was analyzed from culture on Corning® Osteo Assay plates. In this study, we have shown that common non-standardized culturing conditions of monocyte or PBMCs had a significant effect on the in vitro generation of functional osteoclasts. We showed how increased osteoclastic supplement concentrations supported osteoclastic differentiation and resorption but not TRAP release, while priming resulted in increased TRAP release as well. Increased monocyte seeding densities resulted in more and large TRAP positive bi-nuclear cells, but not directly in more multinucleated osteoclasts, resorption or TRAP release. Increasing PBMC seeding densities resulted in more and larger osteoclasts and more resorption, although resorption was disproportionally low compared to the monocyte seeding density experiment. Exploration of commonly used markers for osteoclast cultures demonstrated that Iβ3 staining was an excellent and specific osteoclast marker in addition to TRAP staining, while supernatant TRAP measurements could not accurately predict osteoclastic resorptive activity. With improved understanding of the effect of seeding density and osteoclastic supplement concentration on osteoclasts, experiments yielding higher numbers of functional osteoclasts can ultimately improve our knowledge of osteoclasts, osteoclastogenesis, bone remodeling and bone diseases.
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