GSBS Student Publications


Understanding bone cell biology requires an integrated approach: reliable opportunities to study osteoclast biology in vivo

GSBS Program

Biochemistry & Molecular Pharmacology

Publication Date


UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Cell Biology; Department of Anatomy

Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The relative simplicity of all in vitro methods to study bone cell biology will at best result in oversimplification of the development and functional capacity of the skeleton in vivo. We have shown this to be true for selected aspects of bone cell biology, but numerous other examples are available. One alternative is to undertake skeletal research in vivo. It is important that those in bone research be willing to move increasingly in this direction not only to understand the true complexities of skeletal versatility, but also to avoid repetition and perpetuation of erroneous or irrelevant conclusions which waste resources. Toward this end we have described two situations, osteopetrosis and tooth eruption, in which reproducible abrogations or local activations of bone resorption can be examined in vivo. The application of emerging molecular and morphological techniques that permit the subcellular dissection of metabolic pathways and their precise cellular localization, such as a combination of the variety of in situ hybridization technologies with PCR, antisense probes, and antibody blockase, will allow the investigator greater control of variables in vivo. We expect that these technologies, largely worked out in vitro, combined with highly selected, appropriate models, as we have ourlined here for osteoclast biology, will make research in vivo less intimidating and increase the frequency with which the real biology is studied directly.

DOI of Published Version



J Cell Biochem. 1994 Nov;56(3):315-22. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Journal of cellular biochemistry

Related Resources

Link to article in PubMed

PubMed ID