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Bone destruction relies on interactions between bone and immune cells. Bone-resorbing osteoclasts (OCLs) were recently identified as innate immune cells activating T cells toward tolerance or inflammation. Thus, pathological bone destruction not only relies on increased osteoclast differentiation, but also on the presence of inflammatory OCLs (i-OCLs), part of which express Cx3cr1. Here, we investigated the contribution of mouse Cx3cr1+ and Cx3cr1neg i-OCLs to bone loss. We showed that Cx3cr1+ and Cx3cr1neg i-OCLs differ considerably in transcriptional and functional aspects. Cx3cr1neg i-OCLs have a high ability to resorb bone and activate inflammatory CD4+ T cells. Although Cx3cr1+ i-OCLs are associated with inflammation, they resorb less and have in vitro an immune-suppressive effect on Cx3cr1neg i-OCLs, mediated by PD-L1. Our results provide new insights into i-OCL heterogeneity. They also reveal that different i-OCL subsets may interact to regulate inflammation. This contributes to a better understanding and prevention of inflammatory bone destruction.


Maria-Bernadette Madel, Lidia Ibáñez, Thomas Ciucci, Julia Halper, Matthieu Rouleau, Antoine Boutin, Christophe Hue, Isabelle Duroux-Richard, Florence Apparailly, Henri-Jean Garchon, Abdelilah Wakkach, Claudine Blin-Wakkach. Dissecting the phenotypic and functional heterogeneity of mouse inflammatory osteoclasts by the expression of Cx3cr1. eLife. 2020 May 13;9

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PMID: 32400390

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