Using lead citrate as a capture reagent and adenylate-(β,γ-methylene) diphosphate (AMP-PCP) as a substrate, we localized adenylate cyclase activity on the non-ruffled border plasma membrane of approximately half of the osteoclasts on trabecular bone surfaces in the tibial metaphyses of chickens fed a low (0.3%)-calcium diet. The enzyme was not detectable in osteoclasts when chickens were fed a normal calcium diet. Activity was observed on the entire plasma membrane of detached osteoclasts that were situated between osteoblasts on the bone surface and blood vessels in the marrow cavity. Detection of activity on detached osteoclasts required the presence of an activator, implying lower levels in these cells than in those with ruffled borders. Staining was greater on the lateral sides of osteoblasts and osteoclasts when they were in contact with each other. Reaction specificity was indicated by the demonstration of stimulation by forskolin, guanylate-(β,γ-methylene) diphosphate (GMP-PCP), dimethylsulfoxide, and NaF, inhibition by alloxan and 2',5'-dideoxyadenosine, and absence of activity when sections were incubated in substrate-free medium or when GMP-PCP replaced AMP-PCP as a substrate. The finding of adenylate cyclase in osteoclast plasma membrane provides structural evidence that the adenylate cyclase-cyclic AMP system has a role in regulation of osteoclast cell function. The low-calcium diet appears to have resulted in increased amounts of adenylate cyclase in osteoclasts.
- Adenylate cyclase histochemistry
- Avian osteoclasts
- Calcium-deficient diet
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