IL-1, a proinflammatory cytokine, is implicated in bone loss in various pathological conditions by promoting osteoclast formation, survival, and function. Although IL-1 alone can sufficiently prolong osteoclast survival and activate osteoclast function, IL-1-mediated osteoclastogenesis requires the receptor activator of NF-κB (RANK) ligand (RANKL). However, the molecular basis of the dependence of IL-1-mediated osteoclastogenesis on RANKL is not fully understood. Here we show that although IL-1 cannot activate the expression of the osteoclast genes encoding matrix metalloproteinase 9, cathepsin K, tartrate-resistant acid phosphatase, and carbonic anhydrase II in bone marrow macrophages (BMMs), RANKL renders these osteoclast genes responsive to IL-1. We further demonstrate that IL-1 alone fails to induce the expression of nuclear factor of activated T cell cytoplasmic 1 (NFATc1), a master transcriptional regulator of osteoclastogenesis), in BMMs but can up-regulate its expression in the presence of permissive levels of RANKL or with RANKL pretreatment. The RANK IVVY motif, which has been previously shown to commit BMMs to the osteoclast lineage in RANKL- and TNF α-mediated osteoclastogenesis, also plays a crucial role in IL-1-mediated osteoclastogenesis by changing the four osteoclast marker and NFATc1 genes to an IL-1-inducible state. Finally, we show that MyD88, a known critical component of the IL-1 receptor I signaling pathway, plays a crucial role in IL-1-mediated osteoclastogenesis from RANKL-primed BMMs by up-regulating the expression of the osteoclast marker and NFATc1 genes. This study reveals a novel mechanism of IL-1-mediated osteoclastogenesis and supports the promising potential of the IVVY motif to serve as a therapeutic target for inflammatory bone loss. © 2012 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.