Osteoblasts (from the Greek words for "bone" and "germ" or embryonic) are mononucleate cells that are responsible for bone formation; in essence, osteoblasts are specialized fibroblasts that in addition to fibroblastic products, express bone sialoprotein and osteocalcin.
Osteoblasts produce a matrix of osteoid, which is composed mainly of Type I collagen. Osteoblasts are also responsible for mineralization of this matrix. Zinc, copper and sodium are some of the minerals required in this process. Bone is a dynamic tissue that is constantly being reshaped by osteoblasts, in charge of production of matrix and mineral, and osteoclasts, which remodel the tissue. Osteoblast cells tend to decrease with age, affecting the balance of formation and resorption in the bone tissue.
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