We report the effects of the tetracycline analogues 4-dedimethylaminotetracycline (CMT-1) and minocycline on osteoclast spreading and motility. Both agents influenced the morphometric descriptor of cell spread area, ρ, producting cellular retraction or an R effect (half-times: 30 and 44 minutes for CMT-1 and minocycline, respectively). At the concentrations employed, the tetracycline-induced R effects were significantly slower than, but were qualitatively similar to, those resulting from Ca2+ “receptor” activation through the application of 15 mM-[Ca2+] (slopes: −1.25, −0.18, and −4.40/minute for 10 mg/l-[CMT-1], 10 mg/l-[minocycline] and 15 mM-[Ca2+], respectively). In contrast, the same tetracycline concentrations did not influence osteoclast margin ruffling activity as described by μ, a motility descriptor known to be influenced by elevations of cellular cyclic AMP. Thus, the tetracyclines exert morphometric effects comparable to changes selectively activated by occupancy of the osteoclast Ca2+ “receptor” which may act through an increase in cytosolic [Ca2+].

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