Ossification center

Last updated
Ossification center
X-ray of ossification centers.png
X-ray of ossification centers in a child.
Latin centrum ossificationis
TA98 A02.0.00.043
TA2 403
FMA 75436
Anatomical terminology

An ossification center is a point where ossification of the cartilage begins. The first step in ossification is that the cartilage cells at this point enlarge and arrange themselves in rows. [1]


The matrix in which they are imbedded increases in quantity, so that the cells become further separated from each other.

A deposit of calcareous material now takes place in this matrix, between the rows of cells, so that they become separated from each other by longitudinal columns of calcified matrix, presenting a granular and opaque appearance.

Here and there the matrix between two cells of the same row also becomes calcified, and transverse bars of calcified substance stretch across from one calcareous column to another.

Thus there are longitudinal groups of the cartilage cells enclosed in oblong cavities, the walls of which are formed of calcified matrix which cuts off all nutrition from the cells; the cells, in consequence, atrophy, leaving spaces called the primary areolæ.

Types of ossification centers

Section of fetal bone of cat. ir. Irruption of the subperiosteal tissue. p. Fibrous layer of the periosteum. o. Layer of osteoblasts. im. Subperiosteal bony deposit. Gray79.png
Section of fetal bone of cat. ir. Irruption of the subperiosteal tissue. p. Fibrous layer of the periosteum. o. Layer of osteoblasts. im. Subperiosteal bony deposit.

There are two types of ossification centers – primary and secondary.

A primary ossification center is the first area of a bone to start ossifying. It usually appears during prenatal development in the central part of each developing bone. In long bones the primary centers occur in the diaphysis/shaft and in irregular bones the primary centers occur usually in the body of the bone. Most bones have only one primary center (e.g. all long bones except clavicle) but some irregular bones such as the os coxa (hip) and vertebrae have multiple primary centers.

A secondary ossification center is the area of ossification that appears after the primary ossification center has already appeared – most of which appear during the postnatal and adolescent years. Most bones have more than one secondary ossification center. In long bones, the secondary centers appear in the epiphyses.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bone</span> Rigid organs that constitute part of the endoskeleton of vertebrates

A bone is a rigid organ that constitutes part of the skeleton in most vertebrate animals. Bones protect the various other organs of the body, produce red and white blood cells, store minerals, provide structure and support for the body, and enable mobility. Bones come in a variety of shapes and sizes and have a complex internal and external structure. They are lightweight yet strong and hard, and serve multiple functions.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Skeleton</span> Part of the body that forms the supporting structure

A skeleton is the structural frame that supports the body of an animal. There are several types of skeletons, including the exoskeleton, which is the stable outer shell of an organism, the endoskeleton, which forms the support structure inside the body, and the hydroskeleton, a flexible internal skeleton supported by fluid pressure. Vertebrates are animals with a vertebral column, and their skeletons are typically composed of bone and cartilage. Invertebrates are animals that lack a vertebral column. The skeletons of invertebrates vary, including hard exoskeleton shells, plated endoskeletons, or spicules. Cartilage is a rigid connective tissue that is found in the skeletal systems of vertebrates and invertebrates.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Carpal bones</span> Eight small bones that make up the wrist (or carpus) that connects the hand to the forearm

The carpal bones are the eight small bones that make up the wrist that connects the hand to the forearm. The term "carpus" is derived from the Latin carpus and the Greek καρπός (karpós), meaning "wrist". In human anatomy, the main role of the wrist is to facilitate effective positioning of the hand and powerful use of the extensors and flexors of the forearm, and the mobility of individual carpal bones increase the freedom of movements at the wrist.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cartilage</span> Resilient and smooth elastic tissue in animals

Cartilage is a resilient and smooth type of connective tissue. In tetrapods, it covers and protects the ends of long bones at the joints as articular cartilage, and is a structural component of many body parts including the rib cage, the neck and the bronchial tubes, and the intervertebral discs. In other taxa, such as chondrichthyans, but also in cyclostomes, it may constitute a much greater proportion of the skeleton. It is not as hard and rigid as bone, but it is much stiffer and much less flexible than muscle. The matrix of cartilage is made up of glycosaminoglycans, proteoglycans, collagen fibers and, sometimes, elastin.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Scapula</span> Bone that connects the humerus (upper arm bone) with the clavicle (collar bone)

The scapula, also known as the shoulder blade, is the bone that connects the humerus with the clavicle. Like their connected bones, the scapulae are paired, with each scapula on either side of the body being roughly a mirror image of the other. The name derives from the Classical Latin word for trowel or small shovel, which it was thought to resemble.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Bone healing</span> Healing from bone injury

Bone healing, or fracture healing, is a proliferative physiological process in which the body facilitates the repair of a bone fracture.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Frontal bone</span> Bone in the human skull

The frontal bone is a bone in the human skull. The bone consists of two portions. These are the vertically oriented squamous part, and the horizontally oriented orbital part, making up the bony part of the forehead, part of the bony orbital cavity holding the eye, and part of the bony part of the nose respectively. The name comes from the Latin word frons.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Osteoblast</span> Cells secreting extracellular matrix

Osteoblasts are cells with a single nucleus that synthesize bone. However, in the process of bone formation, osteoblasts function in groups of connected cells. Individual cells cannot make bone. A group of organized osteoblasts together with the bone made by a unit of cells is usually called the osteon.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chondrocyte</span> Cell that makes up cartilage

Chondrocytes are the only cells found in healthy cartilage. They produce and maintain the cartilaginous matrix, which consists mainly of collagen and proteoglycans. Although the word chondroblast is commonly used to describe an immature chondrocyte, the term is imprecise, since the progenitor of chondrocytes can differentiate into various cell types, including osteoblasts.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Endochondral ossification</span> Cartilaginous bone development that forms the long bones

Endochondral ossification is one of the two essential processes during fetal development of the mammalian skeletal system by which bone tissue is produced. Unlike intramembranous ossification, the other process by which bone tissue is produced, cartilage is present during endochondral ossification. Endochondral ossification is also an essential process during the rudimentary formation of long bones, the growth of the length of long bones, and the natural healing of bone fractures.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Intramembranous ossification</span> Mesenchymal bone development that forms the non-long bones

Intramembranous ossification is one of the two essential processes during fetal development of the gnathostome skeletal system by which rudimentary bone tissue is created. Intramembranous ossification is also an essential process during the natural healing of bone fractures and the rudimentary formation of bones of the head.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ossification</span> Development process in bones

Ossification in bone remodeling is the process of laying down new bone material by cells named osteoblasts. It is synonymous with bone tissue formation. There are two processes resulting in the formation of normal, healthy bone tissue: Intramembranous ossification is the direct laying down of bone into the primitive connective tissue (mesenchyme), while endochondral ossification involves cartilage as a precursor.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chondrogenesis</span> Process by which cartilage is developed

Chondrogenesis is the process by which cartilage is developed.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Lacuna (histology)</span> Small space between lamellae containing osteocytes

In histology, a lacuna is a small space, containing an osteocyte in bone, or chondrocyte in cartilage.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Chondroblastoma</span> Medical condition

Chondroblastoma is a rare, benign, locally aggressive bone tumor that typically affects the epiphyses or apophyses of long bones. It is thought to arise from an outgrowth of immature cartilage cells (chondroblasts) from secondary ossification centers, originating from the epiphyseal plate or some remnant of it.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Cartilaginous joint</span> Slightly movable joint

Cartilaginous joints are connected entirely by cartilage. Cartilaginous joints allow more movement between bones than a fibrous joint but less than the highly mobile synovial joint. Cartilaginous joints also forms the growth regions of immature long bones and the intervertebral discs of the spinal column.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Keutel syndrome</span> Medical condition

Keutel syndrome (KS) is a rare autosomal recessive genetic disorder characterized by abnormal diffuse cartilage calcification, hypoplasia of the mid-face, peripheral pulmonary stenosis, hearing loss, short distal phalanges (tips) of the fingers and mild mental retardation. Individuals with KS often present with peripheral pulmonary stenosis, brachytelephalangism, sloping forehead, midface hypoplasia, and receding chin. It is associated with abnormalities in the gene coding for matrix gla protein (MGP). Being an autosomal recessive disorder, it may be inherited from two unaffected, abnormal MGP-carrying parents. Thus, people who inherit two affected MGP genes will likely inherit KS.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Hip bone</span>

The hip bone is a large flat bone, constricted in the center and expanded above and below. In some vertebrates it is composed of three parts: the ilium, ischium, and the pubis.

Opsismodysplasia is a type of skeletal dysplasia first described by Zonana and associates in 1977, and designated under its current name by Maroteaux (1984). Derived from the Greek opsismos ("late"), the name "opsismodysplasia" describes a delay in bone maturation. In addition to this delay, the disorder is characterized by micromelia, particularly of the hands and feet, delay of ossification, platyspondyly, irregular metaphyses, an array of facial aberrations and respiratory distress related to chronic infection. Opsismodysplasia is congenital, being apparent at birth. It has a variable mortality, with some affected individuals living to adulthood. The disorder is rare, with an incidence of less than 1 per 1,000,000 worldwide. It is inherited in an autosomal recessive pattern, which means the defective (mutated) gene that causes the disorder is located on an autosome, and the disorder occurs when two copies of this defective gene are inherited. No specific gene has been found to be associated with the disorder. It is similar to spondylometaphyseal dysplasia, Sedaghatian type.

Osteoderms are dermal bone structures that support the upper layer of skin and serve as protection against the elements in a large variety of extinct and extant organisms, especially reptiles. This structure is commonly called "dermal armor" and serves to protect the organism, while also helping with temperature regulation. Osteoderms represent hard tissue components of the integument, making them easy to identify in fossil examination. This dermal armor is found prominently in many lizards. Some early amphibians have this armor, but it is lost in modern species with the exception a ventral plate, called the gastralia.


PD-icon.svgThis article incorporates text in the public domain from page 93 of the 20th edition of Gray's Anatomy (1918)

  1. Gray and Spitzka (1910), page 44.