Development of a person’s body is a rather complicated process, and as people grow and age, their bones are continually made and remodeled, and their strength and shape change. To alter people’s bones in response to many environmental factors, two types of cells work together: osteoclasts and osteoblasts. The purpose of this paper is to define their function in bone remodeling and describe how osteoblasts and osteoclasts work together to maintain healthy bone function. Also, a microscopic image of healthy bone tissue and the one affected by osteoporosis will be observed.
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A healthy bone viewed under a microscope looks like a honeycomb with different chambers of various sizes. Osteoporosis is a bone disease characterized by a bone mass loss, which may be caused by a deficiency in magnesium, vitamin D, calcium, and some other minerals and vitamins. When it occurs, the spaces and holes in the honeycomb of an affected bone are much larger than those of a healthy one. Osteoporotic bones lose mass or density, and their tissue structure becomes abnormal.
The Function of Osteoblasts and Osteoclasts
Osteoclasts are rather rare cells that are responsible for the resorption of bones and are crucial for remodeling. Problems with osteoclasts differentiation, decrease in their number, and the loss of their function may cause bone osteosclerosis or osteopetrosis. However, an increase in their function or number is also dangerous as it can result in bone osteoporosis. Their function is to break down and reabsorb the bone through phagocytosis and help to make sure that bones are not overly degraded or produced.
Osteoblasts are the bone builders that make a tightly packed sheet on the bone’s surface and let cellular processes extend through the developing bone. They are responsible for rebuilding the skeleton by laying down phosphorus and calcium crystals and by filling in the holes with collagen. Also, their function is bones’ mineralization and synthesis, which is rather essential for both the bone remodeling and bone formation processes.
Osteoblasts and Osteoclasts Working Together
Osteoblasts and osteoclasts work together to control the balance of bone resorption and formation. While osteoblasts make new bones in response to growth and other factors, osteoclasts produce digestive enzymes that dissolve or break up the bone tissue. Their mutual work helps to maintain the necessary rate of bone resorption and build formation because if there is a loss in density, a person is at risk for osteoporosis.