Definitions for osteocyteˈɒs ti əˌsaɪt
This page provides all possible meanings and translations of the word osteocyte
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
os•te•o•cyteˈɒs ti əˌsaɪt(n.)
a branching cell of the bone matrix.
Category: Cell Biology
mature bone cell
A mature bone cell involved with the maintenance of bone.
Origin: From osteo- + -cyte
An osteocyte, a star shaped cell, is the most commonly found cell in mature bone, and can live as long as the organism itself. Osteocytes have an average half life of 25 years, they do not divide, and they are derived from osteoprogenitors, some of which differentiate into active osteoblasts. In mature bone, osteocytes and their processes reside inside spaces called lacunae and canaliculi, respectively. Cells contain a nucleus and a thin ring piece of cytoplasm. When osteoblasts become trapped in the matrix that they secrete, they become osteocytes. Osteocytes are networked to each other via long cytoplasmic extensions that occupy tiny canals called canaliculi, which are used for exchange of nutrients and waste through gap junctions. The space that an osteocyte occupies is called a lacuna. Although osteocytes have reduced synthetic activity and are not capable of mitotic division, they are actively involved in the routine turnover of bony matrix, through various mechanosensory mechanisms. They destroy bone through a rapid, transient mechanism called osteocytic osteolysis. Osteoblasts/osteocytes develop in mesenchyme. Hydroxyapatite, calcium carbonate and calcium phosphate is deposited around the cell.
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