Osteoclastic activity is seen in areas of bone resorption which are the result of experimental and human cholesteatoma. Many factors may induce osteoclasts, including transmitted pressure. The purpose of this study was to determine if transmitted pressure, in the absence of cholesteatoma, could cause localized bone resorption in the middle ear. Surgical grade silicone was implanted in to the middle ear of gerbils without cholesteatoma. Bone resorption was observed only in areas where the implants exerted pressure on bone. It was estimated that pressures of 50 to 120 mm Hg (6.7 x 104 to 16 x 104 dynes/cm2) resulted in the induction of osteoclastic bone resorption.