Q:

What are osteocyte organelles?

A:

Quick Answer

Osteocytes, also known as bone cells, have all the organelles found in other eukaryotic cells, such as a nucleus, mitochondria, cell membrane and endoplasmic reticulum. The major difference is that bone cells do not divide or undergo mitosis.

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Full Answer

Osteocytes are eukaryotic cells with the characteristics and organelles of other eukaryotic cells. Among these is the nucleus that contains genetic material. Although they have genetic material, osteocytes do not undergo mitosis because, according to How Stuff Works, osteocytes are old, retired osteoblasts. They continue to function but at a reduced level. Osteocytes have a life of 25 years before they are replaced by other osteocytes.

The mitochondria in osteocytes is another organelle. This one produces the energy that propels the cell. The endoplasmic reticulum organelle is involved in protein synthesis. The cell membrane surrounds the cell's cytoplasm.

According to the University of Pennsylvania, osteocytes are critical to the bone matrix, which is made up of collagen and proteoglycans. Osteoblasts, the younger versions of osteocytes, form a layer upon which the matrix forms. Once this occurs, osteoblasts become part of the matrix and become osteocytes. The bone matrix survives only as long as the osteocytes survive. Once the osteocytes die, the matrix follows, and the process begins again.

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