Real-time analysis of osteoclast resorption and fusion dynamics in response to bone resorption inhibitors

Preety Panwar, Jacob Bastholm Olesen, Galia Blum, Jean Marie Delaisse, Kent Søe*, Dieter Brömme*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Cathepsin K (CatK), an essential collagenase in osteoclasts (OCs), is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of osteoporosis. Using live-cell imaging, we monitored the bone resorptive behaviour of OCs during dose-dependent inhibition of CatK by an ectosteric (Tanshinone IIA sulfonate) and an active site inhibitor (odanacatib). CatK inhibition caused drastic reductions in the overall resorption speed of OCs. At IC50 CatK-inhibitor concentration, OCs reduced about 40% of their trench-forming capacity and at fourfold IC50 concentrations, a > 95% reduction was observed. The majority of CatK-inhibited OCs (~ 75%) were involved in resorption-migration-resorption episodes forming adjacent pits, while ~ 25% were stagnating OCs which remained associated with the same excavation. We also observed fusions of OCs during the resorption process both in control and inhibitor-treated conditions, which increased their resorption speeds by 30–50%. Inhibitor IC50-concentrations increased OC-fusion by twofold. Nevertheless, more fusion could not counterweigh the overall loss of resorption activity by inhibitors. Using an activity-based probe, we demonstrated the presence of active CatK at the resorbing front in pits and trenches. In conclusion, our data document how OCs respond to CatK-inhibition with respect to movement, bone resorption activity, and their attempt to compensate for inhibition by activating fusion.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number7358
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2024.


  • Active-site probe
  • Bone resorption
  • Cathepsin K
  • Cell fusion
  • Human osteoclast
  • Live-imaging


Dive into the research topics of 'Real-time analysis of osteoclast resorption and fusion dynamics in response to bone resorption inhibitors'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this