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Difference between Osteoblast and Osteoclast

Osteoblasts are the main type of bone cells and the inactive form of these cells are called lining cells. The active form of the cells regulate the passage of calcium in and out of the bone, and they express specialized protein molecules on their membrane for responding to various hormones and stimulants.

These specialized proteins can activate another type of cells called osteoclasts. While, the third type of cells, Osteocytes also present in the bone.  Interestingly, they originate from osteoblasts. Hence, the osteoblasts are represented as major bone cells. In this article, the difference between osteoblast and osteoclast has been described.

Difference between Osteoblast and Osteoclast

Difference between Osteoblast and Osteoclast (Osteoblast vs Osteoclast) 

S. NoCharacteristicsOsteoblastOsteoclast
1Cell shapeOsteoblasts are cuboidal in shape.Osteoclast cells are flat-shaped.
2Cell sizeCells are very smaller in size (20-30 micrometers in diameter)Cells are larger in size (150–200 µm in diameter)
3FunctionBone formation and Maintains bone tissue integrity and shape.Actively involved in bone resorption
4Nucleus numberOnly one nucleus (uninucleate)Many numbers of the nucleus (multinucleated)
5Cellular organellesContains a lesser number of mitochondria, vacuoles, and lysosome.Contains a greater number of mitochondria, vacuoles, and lysosome.
6Sealing zonesDoes not contain sealing zones and ruffled bordersContains sealing zones and ruffled borders
7Osteoid productionProduces osteoid proteinCannot produce osteoid protein
8Hormone productionProduces the hormone, Prostaglandins.Cannot produce any type of hormone.
9Parathyroid hormone receptorExpress parathyroid (PTH) hormone receptors.Do not express parathyroid (PTH) hormone receptors.
10Enzyme/acid productionproduces more amount of alkaline phosphatase enzymeproduces more amount of phosphatase enzyme and tartrate-resistant acid.
11DifferentiationDifferentiated from pluripotent mesenchymal stem cellsDifferentiated from hematopoietic cells of granulocyte-macrophage lineage.
12Engulfing natureDo not engulf bone fragmentsEngulfs bone fragments
13Phagocytic natureEquipped with a phagocytic-like mechanismEquipped with the phagocytic-like mechanism.
14CytokinesProduces pro-inflammatory cytokinesUses cytokines for conversion of macrophages to osteoclasts
15Collagen productionProduces the collagen proteinDissolves the collagen protein