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Metab Bone Dis Relat Res. 1984;5(4):191-3.

Changes in activity of chicken medullary bone cell populations in relation to the egg-laying cycle.


Osteoblastic and osteoclastic activity was studied in avian medullary bone in vivo. During the active period of eggshell calcification, medullary bone active resorption surface increased ninefold. This correlated with a sevenfold increase in the percentage of active osteoclasts. Osteoblast activity is also increased during the active period, as demonstrated by a twofold increase in the active osteoblastic surface. These findings and our observation that the medullary bone volume remains the same (+/- 13%) whether the eggshell is being formed (active period) or not (inactive period) led to the conclusion that the activities of osteoblasts and osteoclasts rapidly return to balance.

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