Akt, also known as protein kinase B, is a serine/threonine protein kinase with antiapoptotic activities; also, it is a downstream target of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase. Here we show that Akt1/Akt2 play a critical role in osteoclast differentiation but not cell survival and that mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and Bim, a proapoptotic Bcl-2 family member, are required for cell survival in isolated osteoclast precursors. To investigate the function of Akt1, Akt2, mTOR, and Bim, we employed a retroviral system for delivery of small interfering RNA into cells. Loss of Akt1 and/or Akt2 protein inhibited osteoclast differentiation due to down-regulation of IκB-kinase (IKK) α/β activity, phosphorylation of IκB-α, nuclear translocation of nuclear factor-κB (NFκB) p50, and NFκB p50 DNA-binding activity. Surprisingly, deletion of Akt1 and/or Akt2 protein did not stimulate cleaved caspase-3 activity and failed to promote apoptosis. Conversely, loss of mTOR protein induced apoptosis due to up-regulation of cleaved caspase-3 activity. In addition, we found that mTOR is downstream of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase (but not Akt) and that macrophage colony-stimulating factor regulates Bim expression through mTOR activation for cell survival. These results demonstrate that Akt1/Akt2 are key elements in osteoclast differentiation and that the macrophage colony-stimulating factor stimulation of mTOR leading to Bim inhibition is essential for cell survival in isolated osteoclast precursors.