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Keywords:

  • dense acellular lamellae;
  • loose cellular lamellae;
  • fiber arrays;
  • osteocyte lacunae

Abstract

Collagen texture and osteocyte distribution were analyzed in human woven- and lamellar-bone using scanning and transmission electron microscopy. We provide data substantiating the concept that lamellar bone is made up of an alternation of dense-acellular lamellae and loose-cellular lamellae, all exhibiting an interwoven texture of collagen fibers. An attempt is also made to explain how the present findings might conform to those of authors whose models propose orderly, geometric arrangements of collagen fibers inside bony lamellae. Such a comparison is possible because the present investigation analyzes split loose lamellae and tangentially-sectioned dense lamellae. It emerged that only loose lamellae can be dissected, revealing a loose interwoven collagen texture and halved osteocyte lacunae. Dense lamellae cannot be split because of their compactness. The analysis of tangentially sectioned dense lamellae demonstrates that they consist of a network of interwoven collagen fiber bundles. Inside each bundle, collagen fibers run parallel to each other but change direction where they enter adjacent bundles, at angles as described by other authors whose TEM investigations were performed at a much higher magnification than those of the present study. Consequently, what these authors consider to be a lamella are, instead, bundles of collagen fibers inside a lamella. There is discussion of the role played by the manner of osteocyte-recruitment in the deposition of lamellar- and woven-bone and how the presence of these cells is crucial for collagen spatial arrangement in bone tissues. J. Morphol., 2013. © 2013 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.