Bone homeostasis is regulated by communication between bone-forming mature osteoblasts (mOBs) and bone-resorptive mature osteoclasts (mOCs). However, the spatial-temporal relationship and mode of interaction in vivo remain elusive. Here we show, by using an intravital imaging technique, that mOB and mOC functions are regulated via direct cell-cell contact between these cell types. The mOBs and mOCs mainly occupy discrete territories in the steady state, although direct cell-cell contact is detected in spatiotemporally limited areas. In addition, a pH-sensing fluorescence probe reveals that mOCs secrete protons for bone resorption when they are not in contact with mOBs, whereas mOCs contacting mOBs are non-resorptive, suggesting that mOBs can inhibit bone resorption by direct contact. Intermittent administration of parathyroid hormone causes bone anabolic effects, which lead to a mixed distribution of mOBs and mOCs, and increase cell-cell contact. This study reveals spatiotemporal intercellular interactions between mOBs and mOCs affecting bone homeostasis in vivo.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
- Physics and Astronomy(all)