DMSO regulates osteoclast development in vitro

Justin M. Lemieux, Gary Wu, Joseph A. Morgan, Melissa A. Kacena

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

6 Scopus citations


Dimethyl sulfoxide (DMSO) is routinely used in the laboratory as a solvent and vehicle for organic molecules. Although it has been used in previous studies involving myeloid cells and macrophages, we are unaware of data demonstrating the effects of DMSO alone on osteoclast development. Recently, we were using DMSO as a vehicle and included a non-vehicle control. Surprisingly, we observed a marked change in osteoclast development, and therefore designed this study to examine the effects of DMSO on osteoclast development. Osteoclasts were generated from two sources: bone marrow macrophages and an osteoclast progenitor cell line. Cells were cultured with DMSO for various durations and at differing concentrations and mature, multinucleated (>3 nuclei) TRAP+ cells were assessed in terms of cell number, cell surface area, and number of nuclei/cell. Osteoclast surface area increased in 5 μM DMSO to a mean of 156,422 pixels from a mean of 38,510 pixels in control culture, and subsequently decreased in 10 μM DMSO to a mean of 18,994 pixels. With serial addition of DMSO over 5 d, a significant increase in mean surface area, and number of nuclei/cell was also observed, while the opposite was true when DMSO was serially removed from culture. These findings show that DMSO exerts a marked effect on osteoclast differentiation. Since many investigators use DMSO to solubilize compounds for treatment of osteoclasts, caution is warranted as altering DMSO concentrations may have a profound effect on the final data, especially if osteoclast differentiation is being assessed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)260-267
Number of pages8
JournalIn Vitro Cellular and Developmental Biology - Animal
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2011


  • Differentiation
  • Dimethyl sulfoxide
  • Maturation
  • Osteoclast

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Developmental Biology
  • Cell Biology

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'DMSO regulates osteoclast development in vitro'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

  • Cite this