A prevailing concept in the literature on bone resorption suggests that the removal of calcium crystals from the bone matrix is the result of the secretion of lactic and/or citric acid. In the present study, we have reassessed this concept using an in vitro bone resorption system consisting of thioglycolate elicited rat peritoneal macrophages co-cultured, for up to 96 hours, with devitalized 45Ca-labeled bone particles. In these combined cultures, medium lactate concentration increased linearly for the first 48 hours of culture and remained at a plateau thereafter. Medium citrate concentration, on the other hand, remained constant and at very low levels throughout incubation. In contrast to both citrate and lactate, bone resorption, measured as 45Ca release, began a few hours after the onset of culture and increased at a constant rate for the balance of the 96-hour culture period. Alteration of resorptive activity by the addition of 10-6M cortisol (which stimulates 45Ca release) or the interposition of a filter between cells and bone (which inhibits resorption) was not paralleled by similar shifts in lactate or citrate concentration. These experiments indicate that mobilization of the bone mineral can occur in the absence of a concurrent, generalized release of lactic and citric acid by sesorbing cells. On the other hand, the data do not exclude a possible role for these compounds under circumstances where they are secreteo into a "closed" compartment at the cell-bone interface or, in the case of lactate, during the initial period of resorptive activity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)468-473
Number of pages6
JournalBiochemical and Biophysical Research Communications
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 30 1982


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