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Chapter 6 Skeletal System

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Learning outcomes:
1. List the functions of the skeletal system.
2. Name the components of bone matrix, and explain their contribution to bone flexibility
and the ability of bones to bear weight.
3. List the common bone cell types and their function.
4. Compare and contrast compact bone and spongy (cancellous) bone.
5. Define the diaphysis, epiphysis, epiphyseal plate, and epiphyseal line of a long bone.
6. List and describe the location and function of the different marrow types.
7. Where are the periosteum and endosteum located?
8. Describe the processes of intramembranous and endochondral ossification.
9. Describe how long bones grow in length and diameter.
10. List the nutrients and hormones that affect bone growth.
11. Name the hormones that regulate blood calcium levels. Describe the events that occur
if blood calcium levels increase or decrease.
The skeletal system includes all bones, cartilage, ligaments, and other connective tissues that stabilize or
connect them.
Functions of the Skeletal System


ligaments: strong bands of fibrous connective tissue that attach to bones and hold them




fatty tissue




tendons: strong bands of connective tissue that attaches skeletal muscles to bones



supporting connective tissue

3 types:

of the 3 types, hyaline is most closely associated with bone

most bones develop from hyaline cartilage (endochondral ossification)

endochondral ossification:
also involved in bone growth and repair

Structure of Hyaline
specialized cells
chondroblast: cartilage producing cells; synthesize matrix

chondrocyte: mature cartilage cell; when matrix surrounds a chondroblast; round cell that
occupies a space called a lacuna; maintain matrix

lacuna: small space or cavity; potential space within the matrix of bone or cartilage normally
occupied by a cell that can be visualized only when the cell shrinks away from the matrix during fixation;

matrix contains collagen and protoglycans

tissue is avascular
this is why it takes longer to repair damaged tissue
surrounded by the perichondrium

perichondrium: double layered connective tissue sheath surrounding cartilage

Two forms of osseous tissue

compact: dense, solid, usually on the surface of bones

spongy: open network of struts and plates, usually found on the interior of the bone

Bone Histology
Bone: is a connective tissue that is composed of specialized cells in a mineralized matrix
classified based on organization of collagen fiber

woven: the collagin fibers are randomly oriented in many directions

lamellar: is mature bone that is organized into thin sheets or layers
also classified based on density of matrix (spongy or compact)


nonliving component

protein fibers: collagen-provides bones flexibility

ground substance: contains deposits of calcium phosphate crystals called hydroxyapatite


hydroxyapatite: the main mineral of bone and teeth

Specialized Cells:

osteoprogenitor cells:

stem cells that can become osteoblasts or chondroblasts

skin cells


bone forming cells

produce matrix


mature bone cells

found in lacunae

maintain bone tissue


bone reabsorbing cells

arise from blood stem cells

large cells that release acid to break down matrix which releases calcium

Osseous Tissue:
Compact Bone:

basic functional unit of compact bone is the osteon:


concentric layers of osseous tissue around the Haversian canal

central canal containing blood capillaries and the concentric lamellae around it

osteocytes are found in the lacunae, sandwiched between layers of osseous tissue

perforating canals enter the bone and provide passageways for blood vessels

canaliculi connect the lacunae within an osteon


do not contain blood vessels

canaliculi: spaces occupied by the osteocyte cell processes

Spongy (Cancellous) Bone:

lack blood vessels

matrix forms trabeculae (struts and plates)


trabeculae: one of the supporting bundles of fibers traversing the substance of a

structure, usually derived from the capsule of one of the fibrous septa

nutrients reach cells through canaliculi that open onto the surface of the trabeculae

Bone classification

long bone-ex: femur

short bone-ex: carpels, patella

flat bone-ex: sternum

irregular bone-ex: vertebrae

Anatomy of a long bone:

1. Diaphysis: long tubular shaft; consists of compact bone surrounding a marrow cavity

yellow marrow: fat stored within the medullary cavity or in the spaces of spongey bone

red marrow: connective tissue in the spaces of spongy bone or in the medullary cavity; site of

2. Epiphysis: ends of the bone, usually filled with spongy tissue

3.epiphyseal plate: site at which bone growth in length occurs
4.medullary cavity: large cavity within the diaphysis


Periosteum: superficial layer of bone, isolates bone from surrounding tissue, actively participates
in bone growth

double layered connective tissue membrane covering the outer surface of bone except where
articular cartilage is present

enable ligaments and tendons attach to bone

blood vessels and nerves from the periosteum supply the bone

where bone grows in diameter


Endosteum: lines the marrow cavity, active during bone growth or repair


Articular Cartilage: thin layer of hyaline cartilage covering a bone where it forms a joint
(articulation) with another bone


Perforating fibers: bundles of collagen fibers that strengthen the attachment of tendons or
ligaments to the bone

calcium crystals are deposited within the tissue


existing tissue is converted to bone tissue

bone cells are present

Bone Development and Growth

Bone development begins 6 weeks after conception and continues through adolescences
Two types of ossification processes:

Intramembranous ossification: dermal ossification; osseous tissue develops from mesenchymal


embryonic mesenchyme forms a collagen membrane containing osteochondral progenitor cells

no stage is comparable

embryonic mesenchyme forms the periosteum, which contains osteoblasts

osteochondral progenitor cells become osteoblasts at centers of ossification; internally, the

osteoblasts form spongy bone; externally, the periosteal osteoblasts form compact bone

intramembranous boneis remodeled and becomes indistinguishable from endochondral bone


Endochondral ossification: osseous tissue replaces existing cartilage model

embryonic mesenchymal cells become chondroblasts, which produce a cartilage template

surrounded by the perichondrium

chondrocyte hypertrophy, the cartilage matrix becomes calcified, and the chondrocytes die

the perichondrium becomes the periosteum when osteochondral progenitor cells within the
periosteum become osteoblasts

blood vessels and osteoblasts form the periosteum invade the calcified cartilage template;
internally, these osteoblasts form spongy bone at primary ossification centers (and later at
secondary ossification centers); externally, the periosteal osteoblasts form compact bone

endochondral bone is remodeled and becomes indistinguishable from intramembranous bone

Process of intramembranous ossification

1. Mesenchymal cells cluster together and begin to secrete the organic components of the matrix.

2. Mesenchymal cells differentiate into osteoblasts. Some become trapped in bony pockets and
mature into osteocytes.

3. Bone grows outward in small projections. Interconnection of projections traps blood vessels.
4. Mesenchymal cells divide and produce more osteoblasts.
5. Remodeling around blood vessels forms osteons.
6. Fibrous connective tissue around the bone becomes organized into periosteum.
Process of Endochondral ossification

1. Cartilage enlarges reducing the matrix to thin struts.

2. Matrix becomes calcified, cutting off nutrients to the chondrocytes.
3. Chondrocytes die.
4. Blood vessels grow into the perichondrium.
5. Inner layer of the perichondrium is converted to periosteum
6. Thin layer of bone develops surrounding the shaft of the bone.
7. Blood supply to periosteum increases. Blood vessels enter the shaft of the bone providing a
passageway for fibroblasts.

8. Calcified cartilaginous matrix breaks down.

9. Fibroblasts differentiate into osteoblasts and replace cartilaginous matrix with spongy bone.
10. Osteoclasts erode the spongy bone to form marrow cavity.
Bones can continue to grow in diameter (width) by apositional growth, growth at the outer

periosteal cells: differentiate into osteoblasts and produce more layers of bony matrix

appositional growth:chondroblasts in the perichondrium add new cartilage to the outside edge of
the existing cardilage

new layers of osseous tissue are added to the outer layer of the bone

Process of Bone Growth in Width


osteoblasts beneath the periosteum lay down bone to form ridges separated by grooves. blood
vessels of the periosteum lie in the grooves.


the groove is transformed into a tunnel when the bone built on adjacent ridges meets. the
periosteum of the groove becomes the endosteum of the tunnel


appositional growth by osteoblasts from the endosteum results in the formation of a new
concentric lamella


the production of additional concentric lamellae fills in the tunnel and completes the formation of
the osteon

Bones can continue to grow in length

occurs at epiphyseal plate

Ossification moves away from the center of the diaphysis

At the junction between the diaphysis and epiphysis: epiphyseal plate-composed of cartilage

More cartilage is produced on the epiphyseal side of the epiphyseal plate as ossification occurs
on the diaphysis side

As long as the rate of new cartilage production = the rate of ossification, the bone will grow in

At puberty, rising levels of sex hormones, growth hormones and thyroid hormones increases the
rate of ossification.

When the epiphyseal plate is reduced to a line, growth in length will stop

Process in bone growth in length at the epiphyseal plate


Zone of resting cartilage

a. cartilage attaches to the epiphysis


Zone of proliferation
a. new cartilage is produced on the epiphyseal side of the plate as the chondrocytes divide and form
stacks of cells


Zone of hypertrophy
a. chondrocytes mature and enlarge


Zone of calcification
a. matrix is calcified, and chondrocytes die


Ossified bone
a. the calcified cartilage on the diaphyseal side of the plate is replace by bone

Factors important to the regulation of bone growth

calcium and phosphate

vitamin D

necessary for the normal absorption of calcium from the intestines

rickets is a diseased caused by insufficient amounts of vitamin D;

vitamin C

necessary for collagen synthesis by osteoblasts

scurvy is a diseased caused by Vitamin C depletion

vitamins A, K and B12


growth hormone: increases general tissue growth including overall bone growth, by
stimulating interstitial cartilage growth and appositional bone growth

thyroid hormone: required for normal growth of all tissues, including cartilage; decrease in
hormone results in smaller individual.

sex hormones: influence bone growth: estrogen and testosterone initially stimulate bone
growth, which accounts for the burst of growth at puberty, when production of these
hormones increase.

Calcium Ion Regulation:

calcium is the most abundant ion in the body

most calcium is stored in the bones (99%)

balance of calcium ions is regulated by the interaction of three areas:


storage in bones

absorption at the intestines

excretion at the kidneys

Bank account analogy


bones are the bank account

intestines make deposits

kidneys make withdrawals

Calcium ion homeostasis is regulated by a negative feedback system involving two

hormones with opposing effects:

Parathyroid Hormone (PTH): released by the parathyroid when levels of calcium are low;
stimulates osteoclast activity, indirectly increases rate absorption at the intestines, decrease rate
of excretion at kidneys

Calcitonin: released by the thyroid when calcium levels are high; inhibits osteoclasts activity,
increase rate of excretion at kidneys

Calcium Homeostasis


PTH individually stimulates osteoclasts to break down bone and release Ca2+ into the blood.
Calcitonin inhibits osteoclasts. Osteoblasts remove Ca2+ from the blood to make bone.
In the kidneys, PTH increases Ca2+ reabsorption from the urine.
In the kidneys, PTH also promotes the formation of active vitamin D, which increases Ca2+
reabsorption form the small intestines.