• Hypertrophy;
  • IGF-I;
  • Growth hormone;
  • Thyroxine;
  • Growth factors;
  • Cartilage;
  • Proteoglycans;
  • Collagens


Growth plate chondrocytes play a pivotal role in promoting longitudinal bone growth. The current review represents a brief survey of the phenomena involved in this process at the cellular level; it delineates the contributions made by various activities during the course of the chondrocyte life cycle, notably proliferation and hypertrophy, and illustrates how the relative contributions may be modulated according to the particular needs of an organism at critical phases of growth. The cellular mechanisms by which a few well characterized growth-promoting substances exert their influences are discussed in the light of recent findings pertaining to epiphyseal plate chondrocytes in vivo. © 1994 Wiley-Liss, Inc.