Background/Aims: Extensive osteoclast formation plays a critical role in bone diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis, periodontitis and the aseptic loosening of orthopedic implants. Thus, identification of agents that can suppress osteoclast formation and bone resorption is important for the treatment of these diseases. Monocrotaline (Mon), the major bioactive component of crotalaria sessiliflora has been investigated for its anti-cancer activities. However, the effect of Mon on osteoclast formation and osteolysis is not known. Methods: The bone marrow macrophages (BMMs) were cultured with M-CSF and RANKL followed by Mon treatment. Then the effects of Mon on osteoclast differentiation were evaluated by counting TRAP (+) multinucleated cells. Moreover, effects of Mon on hydroxyapatite resorption activity of mature osteoclast were studied through resorption areas measurement. The involved potential signaling pathways were analyzed by performed Western blotting and quantitative real-time PCR examination. Further, we established a mouse calvarial osteolysis model to measure the osteolysis suppressing effect of Mon in vivo. Results: In this study, we show that Mon can inhibit RANKL-induced osteoclast formation and function in a dose-dependent manner. Mon inhibits the expression of osteoclast marker genes such as tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase (TRAP) and cathepsin K. Furthermore, Mon inhibits RANKL-induced the activation of p38 and JNK. Consistent with in vitro results, Mon exhibits protective effects in an in vivo mouse model of LPS-induced calvarial osteolysis. Conclusion: Taken together our data demonstrate that Mon may be a potential prophylactic anti-osteoclastic agent for the treatment of osteolytic diseases caused by excessive osteoclast formation and function.