Osteoprotegerin, which is a member of the tumor necrosis factor receptor superfamily and is involved in the regulation of bone metabolism. OPGand its ligand (OPGL) are cytokines regulating osteoclasto-genesis. OPGL binds to receptors on the surface of preosteoclasts and stimulates their differentiation into active osteoclasts. This leads to osteoresorption. OPG inhibits this osteoclasto-genesis (OPG is secreted by osteoblasts, and binds to OPGL, thus inhibiting maturation of osteoclasts and osteoresorption). The degree and activity of osteoresorption depend mainly on the balance between OPG and its ligand (OPGL); factors increasing OPGL expression mostly reduce OPG expression and vice versa.
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