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ABSTRACT: Giant cell tumor of bone (GCT) is a destructive and potentially metastatic bone tumour in which the characteristic giant cells have classically been considered the culprits in bone destruction. However, the neoplastic element of the tumour consists of propagative osteoblast-like stromal cells that may play a role in bone resorption. The objectives of this study were to determine the expression and activity of the gelatinases, matrix metalloproteinase (MMP)-2 and -9, in GCT stromal cells, and to determine if these cells have bone-resorbing capabilities. We performed immunohistochemistry on clinical specimens, and real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and zymography on cell lysates and conditioned media from cultured clinical GCT specimens in order to evaluate the expression and activity of MMP-2 and-9 in GCT stromal cells. Our results support the fact that GCT stromal cells express MMP-2 and MMP-9 and are capable of gelatin degradation in vitro. These cells may therefore play a role in bone destruction in GCT.The Open Bone Journal 01/2009; 1:46-52.