Osteoclasts are important for bone angiogenesis

Frank C. Cackowski, Judith L. Anderson, Kenneth D. Patrene, Rushir J. Choksi, Steven D. Shapiro, Jolene J. Windle, Harry C. Blair, G. David Roodman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

107 Scopus citations


Increased osteoclastogenesis and angiogenesis occur in physiologic and pathologic conditions. However, it is unclear if or how these processes are linked. To test the hypothesis that osteoclasts stimulate angiogenesis, we modulated osteoclast formation in fetal mouse metatarsal explants or in adult mice and determined the effect on angiogenesis. Suppression of osteoclast formation with osteoprotegerin dosedependently inhibited angiogenesis and osteoclastogenesis in metatarsal explants. Conversely, treatment with parathyroid hormone related protein (PTHrP) increased explant angiogenesis, which was completely blocked by osteoprotegerin. Further, treatment of mice with receptor activator of nuclear factor-κB ligand (RANKL) or PTHrP in vivo increased calvarial vessel density and osteoclast number. We next determined whether matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9), an angiogenic factor predominantly produced by osteoclasts in bone, was important for osteoclast-stimulated angiogenesis. The pro-angiogenic effects of PTHrP or RANKL were absent in metatarsal explants or calvaria in vivo, respectively, from Mmp9 -/- mice, demonstrating the importance of MMP-9 for osteoclast-stimulated angiogenesis. Lack of MMP-9 decreased osteoclast numbers and abrogated angiogenesis in response to PTHrP or RANKL in explants and in vivo but did not decrease osteoclast differentiation in vitro. Thus, MMP-9 modulates osteoclast-stimulated angiogenesis primarily by affecting osteoclasts, most probably by previously reported migratory effects on osteoclasts. These results clearly demonstrate that osteoclasts stimulate angiogenesis in vivo through MMP-9.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)140-149
Number of pages10
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 7 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry
  • Immunology
  • Hematology
  • Cell Biology

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    Cackowski, F. C., Anderson, J. L., Patrene, K. D., Choksi, R. J., Shapiro, S. D., Windle, J. J., Blair, H. C., & Roodman, G. D. (2010). Osteoclasts are important for bone angiogenesis. Blood, 115(1), 140-149. https://doi.org/10.1182/blood-2009-08-237628