Alkaline phosphatase An enzyme produced by osteoblasts that is believed to play a role in the mineralization of bone.


Apoptosis Programmed cell death

Bone remodeling A process that couples bone resorption by osteoclasts with deposition by osteoblasts (new bone cells)

Chondroblasts The cells that form cartilage

Cortical bone Dense bone, literally “bark,” that is responsible for skeletal homeostasis

Diaphysis The shaft of a long bone

Endochondral ossification The formation of bone within a cartilage model

Epiphysis The region of bone across the physis, just below the articular cartilage

Hematopoiesis The process of forming blood cells

Hypertrophic zone A layer of large, plump cells in the physis that assists in mineralization of the cartilage

Infarct An area of tissue that is cut off from its blood supply, becomes ischemic, and dies

Lamellar bone Mature, well-organized form of cortical bone

Medullary canal The relatively hollow central core of a long bone that houses bloodforming cells

Metaphysis The region of bone just below the physis

Mineral homeostasis The function of bone responsible for the storing and releasing of ions, principally calcium

Morphogenesis The development of the skeleton in utero

Osteoblasts The cells that synthesize the organic component of bone; also thought of as the bone-forming cells

Osteoclasts Large cells that resorb bone matrix when activated

Osteocytes The cells of established bone

Periosteum A sleeve of connective tissue that surrounds the shaft of the bone and contributes to fracture healing

Physis The growth plate

Proliferative zone A layer of stacked cells in the physis that synthesizes proteoglycans for the cartilaginous matrix; also has the most extensive blood supply within the physis

Reserve zone A layer of cells in the physis that produces the cartilaginous matrix for ossification into bone

Skeletal homeostasis The function of bone that supplies structural support and movement for the body

Trabecular bone Bone characterized by its “lattice” appearance and is responsible for mineral homeostasis

Wolff’s law A law that states that the growth and remodeling of bone is influenced and modulated by mechanical stresses

Woven bone Primitive, less-organized form of cortical bone