Background and purpose — Hypoxia, necrosis, and bone loss are hallmarks of many skeletal diseases. Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HBO) is often used as an adjunctive therapy in these cases. However the in vivo effect of HBO on osteoclast formation has not been fully established. We therefore carried out a longitudinal study to examine the effect of HBO on osteoclast formation and bone resorptive capacity in patients who were referred to the Plymouth Hyperbaric Medical Centre.
Methods — Osteoclast precursors were isolated from periph-eral blood prior to and following 10 and 25 daily hyperbaric treat-ments (100% O2 at 2.4 atmospheres absolute ATA for 90 min) to determine osteoclast formation and resorptive capacity. The expression of key regulators of osteoclast differentiation RANK, Dc-STAMP, and NFATc1 was also assessed by quantitative real-time PCR.
Results — HBO reduced the ability of precursors to form osteoclasts and reduced bone resorption in a treatment-dependent manner. The initial suppressive effect of HBO was more pronounced on mononuclear osteoclast formation than on multinuclear osteoclast formation, and this was accompanied by reduction in the expression of key regulators of osteoclast formation,RANK and Dc-STAMP.
Interpretation — This study shows for the first time that invivo, HBO suppresses the ability of monocytic precursors to formresorptive osteoclasts.