• osteoclast differentiation factor;
  • tumor necrosis factor-related activation-induced cytokine;
  • osteoclast differentiation and activation receptor;
  • osteoclastogenesis inhibitory factor


Recently, three new family members of the tumor necrosis factor (TNF) ligand and receptor signaling system that play a critical role in the regulation of bone resorption have been identified and cloned. These also have been shown to play an important role in regulating the immune system. A proliferation of synonyms for these molecules has led to miscommunication and redundancy. To resolve this, the President of the American Society for Bone and Mineral Research (ASBMR) appointed a special committee to recommend a standard nomenclature. After considerable deliberation and after vetting by workers in the field, the Committee recommends the names of receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) for the membrane receptor, RANK ligand (RANKL) for the ligand, and osteoprotegerin (OPG) for the decoy receptor.