In relation to human cells:-

Outline the microscopic structure and function of the main types of cells found in human bone.                

Bone cells are a very important feature of bones as they built tissue for support as well as actually forming and replacing bone itself. (Gunn, 2007)

There are three main different types of bone cell in bone tissue. Osteoblasts, osteocytes and osteoclasts. (Thibodeau, 2007).

All three of these cells differentiate in structure.

Osteoblasts have a reticulum which is not very well developed. They have loose inorganic ctystals which clearing show bone destruction. Their structure like so, is organised for the synthesis of protein to form a bone matrix. (Cameron, Paschall and Robinson, 1967). They occur along a surface and usually lie adjacent to each other upon lamellae which they secrete.  They are known as bone-forming cells and are small cuboidal cells in shape. (King., 2009).

Osteocytes are small cells. They are secreted from osteoblasts are isolated from one another in individual lacunae.  The cell has tiny canaliculi which extend out to undertake the cell processes. They are divided by gaps but are close enough for means of communication and nutrient supply with one another. (King, 2009).

Osteoclasts can be known as the bone-removing cell. They are a large cell and have multiple nuclei. They occur in small hollows which erode into the surface. These hollows are called Howship’s lacunae. The underlying lamellae are cut by these hollows. (King, 2009).

These bones cells also have a unique function, which underlies the importance of each individual cell.

Osteoblasts are the principle osteocytes (or bone cells) and their main function is bone remodelling. (Bontrager and Lampiano, 2010).   They are bone building cells and lay down fibres, matrix and calcium. (Gunn, 2007). These are organic components needed to build the extra cellular matrix of the bone tissue. They entrap themselves in their secretions to become osteocytes. This only occurs when they surround themselves in extracellular matrix. (Thibodeau, 2007).

Osteocytes are the main cell in bone tissue and have the ability to mature the bone cells. It is involved in metabolism, exchanging waste and nutrients with the blood. They do not however undergo cell division. (Thibodeau, 2007). They participate in the transport of calcium from bone matrix to tissue fluid. This is known as “ostocytic osteolysis”. (Ozawa and Amizuza 1994).

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Osteoclasts main function is the breakdown of bone in the extracellular matrix.  This is known as resorption. They play the main role in bone modelling and remodelling. (Ozawa and Amizuza, 1994).


Osteoblasts have a deeply ruffled membrane which released lysosomal enzymes and acid which digest protein and mineral components of the bone matrix. It is probable that they are controlled by surrounding osteoblast phenotype. (Thibodeau, 2007).

Bone remodelling all contributes to bone density. Osteoblasts build or replace our bone when we are young. Bone density is determined on the rate of which osteoclasts break down bone and where osteoblasts ...

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