by Juliane

When you think about Oscar you might think about him:

Or him:

but unless you work on the effects of inflammation on bone density and development you might not think of the Osteoclast-associated immunoglobulin-like receptor.

Osteoblasts (the cells that make bone) and osteoclasts (the cells that absorb bone) work together to maintain a healthy balance between too strong bones and too brittle bones. Osteoclasts stem from the same precursors in the bone marrow as the main components of the immune system. To turn these precursors into osteoclasts two factors, M-CSF and TRANCE, have to be secreted by osteoblasts. Since these factors are relatively wide spread in the body and we don’t want bone eating cells to turn up everywhere, a second layer of regulation is included, Oscar. Only the lineage of cells destined to become osteoclasts express Oscar as a co-stimulator, which then ensures their differentiation into osteoclasts instead of macrophages.

The first paper describing Oscar (Kim et al.) was published in January 2002, during Oscar season, a coincidence?


Kim N, Takami M, Rho J, Josien R, Choi Y. (2002) A novel member of the leukocyte receptor complex regulates osteoclast differentiation. J Exp Med.;195(2):201-9.

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