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Osteoclast


Description

These are very large cells of a blood cell lineage containing up to 25 nuclei per cell. They are always most abundant in those areas of bone undergoing resorption. The cell membrane contacting the resorptive surface of bone is thrown into deep infoldings termed the ruffled border. It appears that the cells secrete hydrolytic enzymes across this border that are responsible for digestion of matrix components

Etymology

This term arises from the Greek osteon for bone and klastis meaning breaking therefore, a bone breaking cell.

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