Meaning of Chondroblasts
Chondroblasts (from the Greek chondros – cartilage – and blasts – young cells) are cells that are part of the cartilage tissue, they originate from mesenchymal stem cells (stem cells, or embryonic cells) and chondrogenic, they have a rounded shape and the matrix of cartilage.
Their nucleus is central, they have vacuoles and the synthesis activity with the rough endoplasmic reticulum and the Golgi complex is high, since they are still young cells.
These cells synthesize most of the components of the matrix, called collagen fibers, which in hyaline cartilage and elastic cartilage are type II (thinner fibers).
In the perichondrium we can also find fibroblasts that can be differentiated into chondroblasts.
These cells produce collagen fibers and the amorphous substance of the matrix, which has a rubbery consistency. As the chondroblasts produce the matrix, they harden and end up trapped in spaces, which are called chondroblasts.
Almost all cartilage in its initial phase presents interstitial growth (mesenchymal cells that differentiate into chondroblasts and begin to produce extracellular matrix, and it is from there that they are trapped, giving rise to chondrocytes).
When trapped in chondroblasts, the chondroblasts mature into chondrocytes, which are less metabolically active cells.
In most adult chondrocytes, few organelles are observed, accumulation of lipids in their cytoplasm and, in some rare cases, there is a reserve of glycogen.
Chondrocytes can divide and form groups of up to 32 cells that are called isogenic groups.
Chondrocytes live under low oxygen tension and nutrients arrive by diffusion, hence the low metabolism. The word chondrocyte comes from the Greek chondros = cartilage and kytos = cell.
Each chondrocyte is enclosed within a space slightly larger than itself, because in its chondroblast phase it has undergone retraction.
This space (with amorphous substance) is formed during the deposition of the extracellular matrix.
This mature cell is ovoid and globose in shape, its cytoplasm is basophilic, since it has a large number of endoplasmic reticulum. The spaces in which the chondrocytes are located can be very close or separated by a thin layer of matrix. In short, chondroblasts are the precursor cells of chondrocytes.