June 7, 1976

The Physiology of Bone

Author Affiliations

University of Iowa Hospitals Iowa City


by Janet Vaughan, ed 2; 306 pp, with illus, $29.50, New York, Oxford University Press, 1976.

JAMA. 1976;235(23):2541-2542. doi:10.1001/jama.1976.03260490057030

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Perhaps no book extant presents a comparably brief yet amazingly inclusive overview of bone physiology. Dame Vaughan skillfully extracted cogent facts and opinions from those currently available, superbly integrated them into a most readable form, and literally crammed this relatively small volume with valuable information.

This collection of concepts, derived from a variety of disciplines, should dispel the too-long-held notion that bone acts merely as an inert, mechanical support for the body. Each chapter rightfully depicts bone as a highly dynamic structure fulfilling a critical role in multiple facets of body metabolism.

Initial discussions of structure lucidly describe bone from the gross to ultrastructural level, comment on its blood supply, and present certain functional implications of structure. Experimental data serve to portray bone cells in terms of their functional roles in matrix synthesis and mineral metabolism. Discussions of bone matrix encompass collagen and protein polysaccharide structure, chemistry, synthesis, and disorders.