University of Oulu

Luukkonen, J., Hilli, M., Nakamura, M. et al. Histochem Cell Biol (2019) 151: 475.

Osteoclasts secrete osteopontin into resorption lacunae during bone resorption

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Author: Luukkonen, Jani1; Hilli, Meeri1; Nakamura, Miho1,2;
Organizations: 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Cancer Research and Translational Medicine Research Unit, Faculty of Medicine, University of Oulu, Oulu, Finland
2Institute of Biomaterials and Bioengineering, Tokyo Medical and Dental University, Tokyo, Japan
3Thermo Fisher Scientific Oy, Vantaa, Finland
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 3.4 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Springer Nature, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-13


Osteopontin (OPN) is a non-collagenous extracellular sialylated glycoprotein located in bone. It is believed to be one of the key components in osteoclast attachment to bone during resorption. In this study, we characterized OPN and other glycoproteins found in the resorption lacunae to confirm the role of osteoclasts in OPN secretion using electron microscopy and mass spectrometry. Additionally, we examined the glycan epitopes of resorption pits and the effects of different glycan epitopes on the differentiation and function of osteoclasts. Osteoarthritic femoral heads were examined by immunohistochemistry to reveal the presence of OPN in areas of increased bone metabolism in vivo. Our results demonstrate that human osteoclasts secrete OPN into resorption lacunae on native human bone and on carbonated hydroxyapatite devoid of natural OPN. OPN is associated with an elevated bone turnover in osteoarthritic bone under experimental conditions. Our data further confirm that osteoclasts secrete OPN into the resorption pit where it may function as a chemokine for subsequent bone formation. We show that α2,3- and α2,6-linked sialic acids have a role in the process of osteoclast differentiation. OPN is one of the proteins that has both of the above sialic residues, hence we propose that de-sialylation can effect osteoclast differentiation in bone.

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Series: Histochemistry and cell biology
ISSN: 0948-6143
ISSN-E: 1432-119X
ISSN-L: 0948-6143
Volume: 151
Issue: 6
Pages: 475 - 487
DOI: 10.1007/s00418-019-01770-y
Type of Publication: A1 Journal article – refereed
Field of Science: 3111 Biomedicine
Funding: Open access funding provided by University of Oulu including Oulu University Hospital. This work was supported by Northern Ostrobothnia Hospital District Research Funding, The Academy of Finland (130795), MATERA Era-Net program by TEKES, Finland (Scaffolds for Tissue Engineering -project), The National Doctoral Programme of Musculoskeletal Disorders and Biomaterials (TBDP), Grants-in-Aid for the Promotion of Joint International Research (Fostering Joint International Research) (15KK0299) and Grant for Basic Science Research Projects from The Sumitomo Foundation.
Academy of Finland Grant Number: 130795
Detailed Information: 130795 (Academy of Finland Funding decision)
Dataset Reference: Supplementary material 1 (DOCX 13 KB)
Copyright information: © The Author(s) 2019. This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.