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Am J Orthod Dentofacial Orthop. 1997 Aug;112(2):221-6.

The functional matrix hypothesis revisited. 2. The role of an osseous connected cellular network.

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Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York, NY 10032, USA.


Intercellular gap junctions permit bone cells to intercellularly transmit, and subsequently process, periosteal functional matrix information, after its initial intracellular mechanotransduction. In addition, gap junctions, as electrical synapses, underlie the organization of bone tissue as a connected cellular network, and the fact that all bone adaptation processes are multicellular. The structural and operational characteristics of such biologic networks are outlined and their specific bone cell attributes described. Specifically, bone is "tuned" to the precise frequencies of skeletal muscle activity. The inclusion of the concepts and databases that are related to the intracellular and intercellular bone cell mechanisms and processes of mechanotransduction and the organization of bone as a biologic connected cellular network permit revision of the functional matrix hypothesis, which offers an explanatory chain, extending from the epigenetic event of muscle contraction hierarchically downward to the regulation of the bone cell genome.

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