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Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDIs), a new class of anti-cancer agents, have been reported to suppress formation of osteoclast precursors and their fusion into multinucleated cells. However, little is known about the effect of HDIs on mature osteoclasts, which may have significance for their therapeutic use. Here, we demonstrate a novel action of HDIs on osteoclast apoptosis. Primary multinucleated mature osteo - clasts were prepared from mouse bone marrow cells. Treatment of osteoclasts with the HDI trichostatin A (TSA) caused apoptosis, as confirmed by annexin V staining and caspase activation. TSA caused the upregulation of p21 WAF1 in osteoclasts. To understand the role of p21WAF1 upregulation in TSA-treated osteoclasts, shRNA against p21WAF1-containing lentivirus was introduced into osteoclasts. The suppression of p21WAF1 decreased TSA-directed osteoclast apoptosis. Collectively, our results pro - vide evidence that TSA causes osteoclast apoptosis, which involves, in part, TSA-induced upregulation of p21 WAF1 , and strongly supports HDIs as potential therapeutic agents for excessive bone resorption.