Project II

Identification of molecular markers for a specific subset of osteoclasts in inflammation related bone pathologies.

Yixuan Cao

My name is Yixuan Cao and I come from Shijiazhuang, a city in the northern part of China. I did my bachelor degree in Biotechnology at Beijing Normal University, Zhuhai, China and completed my master degree at the University of Nottingham, UK, majored in Applied Biomolecular Technology. My master thesis was focused on enzymatic slow-release hydrolysis of carbohydrates and had a deep understanding of biomedical macromolecules.

Since May 2014, I have joined in the Euroclast program and work as an Early Stage Researcher in the Academisch Centrum Tandheelkunde Amsterdam (ACTA)/ Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam (VU) in the Netherlands. In my spare time I like to go travelling to experience different cultures. My email address is

Vincent Everts

I am the coordinator of the Euroclast. In 1971 I started as an EM technician at the academic medical center in Amsterdam. I studied Biology at the University of Utrecht and obtained my PhD in 1987 at the University of Amsterdam. In 2003 I became professor of Oral Cell Biology and in 2006 I became director of research at the Academic Center for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA).

Since November of this year I am officially retired but in December I got a part-time appointment at ACTA for the Euroclast project.  In my spare time I love to travel to observe and photograph wildlife, especially birds. My email address is:

Teun de Vries

After my M.Sc. degree in (Cell) Biology from the Agricultural University of Wageningen, I spent eight years of research in melanoma progression at the Radboud University Nijmegen, The Netherlands. I started on osteoclastogenesis research in 1999 at the Department of Periodontology at the Academic Centre for Dentistry Amsterdam (ACTA).

I am involved as PI and co-PI, in both of the Euroclast projects (projects I and II) run in Amsterdam.  And when I am not in the lab…..I love to sing and am member of a choir. My email address is

Our Project

Osteoclasts are known as the culprits in many inflammation related bone diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and periodontitis. Compounds that can stimulate osteoclast precursors to differentiate into “inflammatory” or “physiological” osteoclasts will be promising for the clinical treatment for such bone pathologies. For the first part of this project, we aim to investigate whether different osteoclast precursors respond differently to the inflammatory cytokine IL-1β.

Studies have shown that distinct osteoclast precursor subsets such as early blasts, myeloid blasts and monocytes respond differently to M-CSF and RANKL priming. The inflammatory cytokine IL-1β can accelerate the multinucleated cells formation and bone resorption. This study will firstly test if these three osteoclast subsets also respond differently to IL-1β by analyzing their formation, size and their bone resorption capacity. We hypothesize that the three cell lineages respond differently to IL-1β and will explore the molecular mechanisms involved in detail.

This project will use different cell biological techniques like cell isolation, cell sorting and cell culturing; molecular technologies like qPCR, and microscopy for example life cell imaging. We anticipate that inflammatory cytokines differently affect osteoclast precursors and will try to elucidate precursors that generate ”physiological” and/or “inflammatory” osteoclasts.

Our postal address is:
Oral Cell Biology
ACTA Amsterdam
Gustav Mahler Laan 3004
The Netherlands

Here we are, the whole ACTA team: Sandra (project I), Teun, Vincent and Yixuan (project II)