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Skeletal System consists of:

cartilage, ligaments, and connective tissue


Semirigid connective tissue


Cells that produce the matrix of cartilage


Matrix encased chondroblasts


The space that chondrocytes occupy

Function of Cartilage

Supports soft tissue, such as the C-shaped hyaline cartilage rings in the trachea

Function of Cartilage

Providing a gliding surface at articulations (joints) where two bones meet.



Growth Patterns of Cartilage

Cartilage grows in two ways:
Interstitial Growth and Appositional Growth

Interstitial Growth (stage 1)

Chondrocytes housed in lucunae undergo mitotic cell division

Interstitial Growth (stage 2)

The two new cells occupy a single lacunae

Interstitial Growth (stage 3)

Cells synthesize and secrete new cartilage matrix, they are pushed apart and now reside in their own lacunae

Interstitial Growth (stage4)

The new individual cells within their own lacunae are called chondrocytes. new matrix has been produced internally, and thrus interstitial growth has occurred.

Appositional Growth (second type of Cartilage Growth)

Growth that occurs later in life after full maturity due to injury or healing. This growth occurs only at the prriphery of the tissue.

Appositional Growth (stage 1)

Stem cells at the internal edge of the perchondrium begin to divide, forming new and committed cells

Committed Cells

type of stem cell that can produce a subset of like cells (ex. hematapoetic cells - blood stem cells).

Appositional Growth (stage 2)

The committed cells differentiate into chondroblasts

Appostional Growth (stage 3)

These chondroblasts, located at the periphery of the old cartilage, begin to produce and secrete new cartilage matrix, they are pushed apart and now reside in their own lacunae.

Appositional Growth (stage 4)

The new matrix has been produced peripherally, and thus appositional growth has occured.

What level of tissue does appositional occur

peripherally tissue level

How do the three cartilage types differ with respect to their locations and functions in the body?


Compare and contrast interstitial and appositional growth of cartilage. In older cartilage, which type of growth predominates?


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