MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MICROSCAPE / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Light microscopy of degenerating chondrocytes in an epiphyseal growth plate. In the cartilaginous growth plates of developing long bones and the axial skeleton, having produced cartilage matrix the chondrocytes shrink, fragment and are eliminated by a process of programmed cell death called apoptosis. The cartilage framework they leave behind (purple matrix) becomes calcified and provides a scaffold on which osteoblasts will deposit new bone tissue. Magnification x480 when printed at 10 cm.
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