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BOOK REVIEWS The Chemical Dynamics of Bone Mineral. By William F. Neuman and Margaret W. Neuman. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1958. Pp. 209. $5.00. Ithas been apleasure to review this excellent monograph concerned with the chemical dynamics ofthe principal minerals of bone. The audiors have undertaken to present a thorough, critical appraisal ofthe current status ofknowledge on this subject. The presentation is primarily from the viewpoint ofthe physical chemist. The subject matter is carefully organized and presented logically, beginning with the solubilityrelationships of calcium and phosphate and how other substances, such as magnesium, albumin, and citrate, influence these ions. Discrepancies between fact and theory are frequently pointed out, and controversial aspects ofthe subject are discussed objectively. Available data are inadequate on certain aspects ofthe subject, and the authors are to be commended for undertaking to organize such findings as may exist and treating the subject in as quantitative a manner as information permits. It must be recognized, as the authors evidently do, that to treat a biological system in terms that are limited to the concepts derived from pure physicochemical systems is to give an incomplete picture of the factors aflĂȘcting the system as it functions in vivo. How much organic acids, polyhydroxy compounds, and many other substances both ionized and un-ionized may influence the solubility relations and ion activity in fluids that bathe bone remains a matter for conjecture. There has to be a place to start, and solubility relations between calcium and phosphate ions are certainly ofprimary importance. The lack of adequate data on certain aspects of the subject emphasizes the need for better methods of measuring the activity ofcalcium and other ions in biological systems. That bone may be regarded up to a certain point as a purely physicochemical system isjustified by its similarity of behavior in vivo and in vitro so far as ion exchange and uptake are concerned. It is possible to give a qualitative description ofsome ofthe reactions that occur in bone. The heterogeneous nature ofbone from die standpoint ofreactivity is emphasized by the uptake of tagged elements by different bones and different parts ofthe same bone. The lack ofany adequate explanation for the varying distribution ofdie tagged elements in bone further emphasizes the limitations of trying to account for bone formation and subsequent architectural adjustments in bone structure on the basis ofexisting knowledge. The importance ofphysiological factors concerned with bone matrix formation and destruction are acknowledged, but the role ofcirculation in determining the reactivity ofdie skeleton is given scant attention. The limitations in attempting to characterize die reactions ofbone without an adequate basis for accounting for the mechanisms by which cellular and circulatory factors affect bone is only too apparent. That diere is a close rela122 Book Reviews Perspectives in Biology and Medicine · Autumn 1938 don between circulation and hydration of bone and its reactivity appears evident from the material presented. The basis for cellular activity by which hormones and vitamins appear to influence the skeleton awaits clarification. The local factor or factors causing precipitation ofcalcium phosphate to occur as die matrix proliferates remain unidentified. Even a very excellent characterization ofbone in physical and chemical terms leaves much ofbone metabolism in health and disease unexplained. The basis for the driving force by which cellular mechanisms bring about bone formation and destruction is still an enigma. The biochemical basis for die action of paradiyroid hormone and vitamin D on bone has not been defined in concrete terms. Experiments that tend to relate these agents to energy production and to the formation or destruction of members ofdie tricarboxylic acid cycle are suggestive ofreactions at the cellular level that may help explain effects on bone formation and destruction. A study of calcium metabolism or the effects of disease upon bone emphasizes die importance ofphysiological factors in the maintenance ofbone. One may observe extensive destruction or loss of minerals from the skeleton in the presence ofbody fluids whose composition appears to vary little or not at all compared to that ofthe normal organism. The spine may collapse and die extremities appear osteoporotic. Proliferating cells may replace bone in a variety ofdisease states in which erythroid, myeloid, or endothelial cells undergo hyperplasia. Metastatic growdi...

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Additional Information

ISSN
1529-8795
Print ISSN
0031-5982
Pages
pp. 122-123
Launched on MUSE
2015-01-07
Open Access
No
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