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The length of a bone is caused by growth of hyaline cartilage which is then replaced by bone tissue. How do cells know whether they should grow the hyaline cartilage? What are the key molecules that trigger the synthesis of hyaline cartilage?

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How do cells know whether they should grow the hyaline cartilage?

Both growth factors and cytokines are involved but the trigger mechanism is unclear [1].

Bones grow in length at the level of epiphyseal plate where chondrocytes produce hyaline cartilage which by addition of calcium and phosphorus ions turns into hard bone [2].

It is believed that the growth process is under the regulation of local mediators like cytokines and growth factors:

In recent years, a large number of cytokines have been discovered and their molecular structures and biological activities described. A surprisingly large number of cytokines have been shown to affect skeletal tissues, at least experimentally, making this a complex topic, but one which is furthering knowledge of how the cellular events of bone growth may be so precisely regulated [3].


References

  1. Ossification. (2014, July 3). In Wikipedia, The Free Encyclopedia. Retrieved 15:47, September 30, 2014, from http://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ossification&oldid=615387908
  2. http://www.personal.psu.edu/staff/m/b/mbt102/bisci4online/bone/bone5.htm
  3. J.S. Price, B.O. Oyajobi and R.G.G. Russell. The cell biology of bone growth. Available from http://archive.unu.edu/unupress/food2/UID06E/UID06E0U.HTM
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