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bone physiology


  • special form of connective tissue made of collagenous matrix impregnated with mineral salts, esp. calcium phosphates;
  • mainly hydroxyapatite Ca10-x (H20)2x (PO4)6 (OH)2 ⇒ 20 x 3-7 nm crystals;
  • trabecular bone (25%) bone is lost from most readily;
  • compact bone (75%) denser, less active metabolically;
  • nutrients provided via Haversian canal which are blood vessels surrounded by concentric layers of collagen forming osteons or Haversian systems;


  • Arise from mesenchymal osteoprogenitor cells and form bone by secreting collagen, forming a matrix around themselves which then calcifies, and then they are called osteocytes;
  • Have processes that are sent along canaliculi, and ramify throughout bone, connect to other processes via tight junctions;


  • Multinuclear cells that erode & resorb previously formed bone and derived from monocytes;

Bone formation & resorption:

  • Throughout life, bone is constantly being resorbed and new bone formed;
  • Bone calcium turnover is 100% /yr infants; and 18%/yr adults;
  • Renewal rates: compact bone 4%/yr; trabecular bone 29%/yr;
  • Remodeling partly related to stresses and strains, & regulated by:
    • hormones:
    • local growth factors (? paracrine fashion):
      • fibroblast growth factors (FGF);
      • transforming growth factors (TGF);
      • insulin-like growth factors (IGF) ⇒ incr. collagen;
      • beta2-microglobulin (beta2m);
      • platelet derived growth factor (PDGF);
      • interleukin-1B (IL-1B) ⇒ activates osteoclasts;
      • gamma interferon (IFN-gamma);
  • normal gain in bone density in early life, plateau ~30yr old then gradual fall, especially postmenopausal women partly due to lack of oestrogens and exacerbated by inactivity, low Ca intake, low fluoride intake, space flight where no gravity (disuse ostoporosis)
bone.txt · Last modified: 2009/03/20 08:44 by

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