Macrophages (M phi) are multipotential cells capable of giving rise to osteoclasts and of resorbing bone. Since both of these processes are ultimately dependent upon the attachment of cells to a mineralized bone surface, we have examined in this study the mechanism by which such attachment is achieved. The data show that elicited rat peritoneal M phi bind to bone in a temperature-dependent and -saturable manner with half-maximal attachment occurring within 10 min at 37 degrees C and reaching a plateau by approximately 60 min. The kinetics of binding are essentially the same whether devitalized bone particles or viable calvaria are used as a substrate. The attachment of M phi to bone is inhibited by some sugars (e.g., N-acetyl-galactosamine, thiogalactoside, beta-lactose), fetuin and asialofetuin, and by pretreating the bone with periodate. Binding is also significantly reduced when M phi are preincubated with tunicamycin and swainsonine at nontoxic concentrations sufficient to inhibit or alter glycosylation. On the other hand, exposing the cells to neuraminidase increases the capacity of M phi to bind to bone. Collectively, our observations indicate that the attachment of M phi to bone is a highly regulated process and is mediated, at least in part, by saccharides located on both the cell and the bone surface.


Z Bar-Shavit, S L Teitelbaum, A J Kahn


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