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J Anat. 1991 Apr;175:7-17.

Computer simulations of chondrocytic clone behaviour in rabbit growth plates.

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  • 1Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032.


The growth behaviour of chondrocytic clones in the cell columns of the proximal tibial growth plates of young rabbits was modelled in computer simulations. Simulations were performed, modelling either clones in large groups of columns or clones in one single column. The former were based on morphological data and measurements of cell columns from an earlier study while the latter utilised previous findings of cellular kinetics in rabbit growth plates. Simulation results that resembled most closely the actual observations on rabbit growth plates were those in which a distribution of values was assumed both for clone length (ranging from 1000 to 2000 microns) and for the lengths of the discontinuities between clones. When the assumption was made in the models that the disappearing (metaphyseal) end of an 'old' clone moved more rapidly than the developing (epiphyseal) end of a 'new' clone, replacing the former, the length of the discontinuity between these two clones increased with time. This assumption, which could be modelled in the simulations of clones in a single column based on cell growth behaviour, was found to provide an explanation for an earlier finding that there are more short columns at the epiphyseal side than at the metaphyseal side of a growth plate.

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