Osteoclasts are polarized cells involved in bone resorption. They are exposed to high ambient concentrations of inorganic phosphate (Pi) during the active process of bone resorption. We hypothesize that osteoclasts may possess specific Pi-transport system(s) for transcellular movement of Pi released from bone into the resorption cavity. We have previously reported the existence of a Na-dependent Pi cotransporter in the avian osteoclast, which provides a model culture system for the fully differentiated phenotype capable of bone resorption. In whole cell Pi-uptake studies, the rate of Pi transport was sensitive to both ouabain and 2,4-DNP, an inhibitor of aerobic ATP production. When these osteoclasts were exposed to bone particles, there was an immediate stimulation of Pi transport, independent of de novo protein synthesis. The stimulatory effect of bone particles was inhibited by peptides with the Arg-Gly-Asp-Ser (RGDS) motif, an effect which implicates integrins and cell-matrix interaction in the regulation of Pi transport. We performed Western blots on both whole cell lysates and membrane fractions using a polyclonal antibody to the N-terminal of NaPi-2 (the rat variant) and found a single ~100 kDa protein; the non-immune serum was used as control. Immunofluorescence studies using the same N-terminal antibody to NaPi-2 detected the protein in discrete vesicles. There was an induction of the protein in membrane fractions isolated from osteoclasts cultured in the presence of bone particles. Our preliminary studies indicate that a Na-Pi cotransporter may exist in the avian osteoclast, immunologically related to the NaPi-2 family, and which may be regulated through integrin-mediated pathways in the presence of bone. We also hypothesize that there may be a redistribution of vesicular pools containing the Na-Pi cotransporter toward discrete plasma membrane sites on the polarized osteoclast for transcellular movement of Pi during active bone resorption.