[Truncated abstract] Bone is a living tissue and is maintained by the coordinate action of osteoblasts and osteoclasts. The intercellular communication between these two cells is the quintessential mechanism in bone remodelling. Unfortunately, the importance of this interaction is often neglected and its significance is only realised when disruption of this “cross-talk” results in debilitating bone diseases. Additionally, the number of known proteins that are involved in this “cross-talk”, especially those that are osteoclast-derived, and act specifically on osteoblasts, is limited. This discrepancy leads to the question: Can osteoclasts directly control the growth and function of osteoblastic cells by expressing specific proteins that bind directly to osteoblasts? If so, is it possible to use these proteins to control and, possibly, treat bone disease? The objective of this thesis is to identify and characterise osteoclast-derived factors that can modulate bone homeostasis, as well as contribute to the intercellular communication between osteoblasts and osteoclasts ... Collectively, the data in this thesis culminates in one important conclusion: the identification of a novel paracrine secretory factor that has the potential to directly induce the formation of bone. These findings represent the first ever characterisation of a protein that allows the osteoclasts to directly control the growth and function of osteoblasts. Due to the potential function of ODOF to induce bone formation, this protein may be used therapeutically to treat bone disease.
|Qualification||Doctor of Philosophy|
|Publication status||Unpublished - 2004|