The effects of colony-stimulating factor-1 on the number and ultrastructure of osteoclasts in toothless (tl) rats and osteopetrotic (op) mice

UMMS Affiliation

Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences; Department of Cell Biology

Publication Date


Document Type



Life Sciences | Medicine and Health Sciences


The role of colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1 or M-CSF) in osteoclast development is illustrated by observations that administration of exogenous CSF-1 increases osteoclast number and improves the skeletal sclerosis of two osteopetrotic mutations, toothless (tl) in the rat and osteopetrotic (op) in the mouse. We examined the effects of CSF-1 treatment on the number and ultrastructure of osteoclasts in the tibial metaphysis of normal and mutant animals of both stocks to understand the similarities and differences between these two mutations. Osteoclasts from normal animals of both stocks were abundant and possessed the ultrastructural features of active cells. These included apical areas in contact with mineralized surfaces with tightly apposed clear zones, extensive ruffled borders, and a vacuolated cytoplasm with numerous mitochondria. In toothless rats osteoclasts were difficult to locate and those present had poorly defined ruffled borders, fewer cytoplasmic vacuoles, and a basal membrane with both smooth and ruffled areas. Large lipid accumulations were often found near tl osteoclasts. Osteoclasts in op mice were difficult to find, but more numerous than in tl rats. Unlike tl osteoclasts, those of op mice possessed very well developed ruffled borders, small clear zones, and large electron-dense cytoplasmic inclusions. These cells also had unusual basal membranes with both smooth and ruffled regions. CSF-1 treatment increased the number of osteoclasts in both mutant stocks, normalizing the numbers in op mice, but not tl rats. CSF-1 injections caused dramatic changes in the morphology of tl osteoclasts, including increased incidence and size of ruffled borders and cytoplasmic vacuolization. The growth factor had little effect on ruffled borders or clear zones in op mice. Interestingly, mutant osteoclasts of both stocks exhibited a ruffled basal membrane in response to CSF-1 treatment. This increase in membrane ruffling may reflect the ability of CSF-1 to promote rapid formation of osteoclasts from mononuclear precursors in a more permissive microenvironment. Our data indicate that CSF-1 is not required for the development of at least some osteoclasts. The differences in response to CSF-1 treatment which we report lead us to speculate that additional factors may be involved in osteoclastogenesis.

DOI of Published Version



Tissue Cell. 1997 Oct;29(5):589-95.

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Tissue and cell

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