This study investigated the resorptive activity of osteoclasts on tricalcium phosphate (TCP), zinc-containing tricalcium phosphate (ZnTCP) and magnesium-containing tricalcium phosphate (MgTCP) ceramics in different Zn- or Mg-containing culture media. On the TCP ceramic, an increase in Zn ions in the culture medium within the range between 0.3 and 6.8 ppm significantly induced an increase in osteoclast apoptosis and a decrease in actin ring formation. However, even a high level of Mg ions up to 100 ppm in the culture medium was unlikely to induce an increase in osteoclast apoptosis. Mg ions in the MgTCP ceramics have no effect on osteoclast apoptosis and actin ring formation. There was almost no significant difference in osteoclast apoptosis and actin ring formation between ZnTCP and MgTCP ceramics which have the same solubility and dissolution rates. It is indicated that only an increase in Zn level outside resorption lacuna has an inhibitory effect on osteoclast resorption and that an increase in Zn level inside resorption lacuna could not influence the osteoclast activity.
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