Differentiation of isolated calvarial cells into a mature heterogeneous bone cell population in culture

Arnold J. Altman, Janet G. Bandelin, Jesus H. Dominguez, Gregory R. Mundy

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

4 Scopus citations


When isolated fetal calvarial cells were cultured in petri dishes without bone, they maintained a fibroblastoid appearance throughout the culture period and did not differentiate morphologically. In contrast, when similar cells were cultured on endosteal surfaces of devitalized bone, they differentiated into mature cells which resembled the heterogeneous collection of cells found in normal bone. Cells with the same morphologic appearance as osteoclasts appeared between 8 to 12 days of culture. At the same time that these large multinucleated cells appeared, mineral and matrix were released from the killed bones which had been previously labeled with 45Ca and 3H-proline. The resorption of dead bone by the cells was inhibited by colchicine (10-7M) and cortisol (10-6M), drugs which inhibit lysosomal enzyme release, but was not enhanced by parathyroid hormone or osteoclast activating factor.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)75-79
Number of pages5
JournalMetabolic Bone Disease and Related Research
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1978
Externally publishedYes


  • Bone cells
  • Bone resorption
  • Differentiation
  • Endosteal bone surfaces
  • Fibroblasts
  • Osteoclasts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism

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