Rajeev Aurora, Zachary Buchwald and Jennifer Kiesel
This invention relates generally to a method of regulating osteoclast function via a bi-directional regulatory loop between osteoclasts and FoxP3+ CD8 T-cells. This previously unknown crosstalk between the skeletal and immune systems can be exploited through cell-based therapeutics, biologics, small molecule agonists or other known methodologies to treat bone loss and other inflammation-based diseases. A cell-based method for reducing bone loss would be to generate osteoclasts and FoxP3+ CD8 T-cells from a patient's ex vivo blood by culturing mononuclear cells with M-CSF and RANKL and reintroducing them to the patient. Another method would generate the desired cells though the use of immobilized antibodies. A drug method would comprise providing the patient with an effective dose of a RANK agonist.