1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 inhibits directly human osteoclastogenesis by down-regulation of the c-Fms and RANK expression

Tae Hwan Kim, Bitnara Lee, Eunji Kwon, Choong Hyeok Choi, Il Hoon Sung, Yongjin Kim, Jeongwon Sohn, Jong Dae Ji

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Objective: 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25(OH)2D3) is a key molecule to maintain calcium homeostasis and bone metabolism. It was recently reported that 1,25(OH)2D3 directly inhibited osteoclast differentiation in mouse bone marrow cells and human bone marrow-derived colony-forming unit granulocyte macrophage (CFU-GM) cells. However, the direct effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 and its affecting mechanisms on the osteoclast differentiation of human osteoclast precursors remain largely unknown. In this study, we examined the direct effects of 1,25(OH)2D3 on the osteoclastogenesis of human peripheral blood (PB) osteoclast precursors. Methods: In vitro osteoclastogenesis assays were performed using osteoclast precursors from normal PB. The gene expressions were analyzed using real-time PCR. The cell surface proteins, including c-Fms and RANK, were measured by flow cytometry. Results: 1,25(OH)2D3 strongly inhibited osteoclast differentiation and it suppressed the expression of RANK in the human PB osteoclast precursors. One mechanism of RANK inhibition by 1,25(OH)2D3 is down-regulation of the M-CSF receptor c-Fms, which is required for the expression of RANK. In contrast to the previous reports on mouse osteoclast precursors, 1,25(OH)2D3 did not affect the expression of c-Fos. Parallel to the inhibition of osteoclastogenesis, 1,25(OH)2D3 increased the expression and phosphorylation of CCAAT enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ), which is a recently discovered inhibitor of osteoclastogenesis. Conclusions: Our results show that 1,25(OH)2D3 inhibits human osteoclastogenesis by decreasing the RANK+ osteoclast precursors, and we suggest that 1,25(OH)2D3 may be a powerful therapeutic agent for treating inflammation-induced bone disease that shows excessive osteoclast activation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)307-314
Number of pages8
JournalJoint Bone Spine
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2013 May
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research was supported by Basic Science Research Program through the National Research Foundation of Korea (NRF) funded by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology ( 2009-0072059 ).


  • 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D
  • C-Fms
  • Osteoclast
  • RANK

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Rheumatology


Dive into the research topics of '1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 inhibits directly human osteoclastogenesis by down-regulation of the c-Fms and RANK expression'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this