Recent evidence suggests that skeletal adaptation is organized by a functional unit that includes cells of diverse origin working in coordination. Genetic and metabolic factors control and regulate the processes of modeling and remodeling, only rarely acting on the isolated individual functions of specific cell lines. Errors in the genetic or metabolic regulation of the functional unit affect the entire process of skeletal adaptation rather than specific elements of it. Viewed in this way, some metabolic bone diseases can be understood as relatively simple errors in factors that control the coordinated activities of the entire functional unit. This paper reviews the modeling and remodeling processes and demonstrates how abnormal morphological characteristics of bone tissue can be viewed as products of specific errors in the adaptive process.
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