Time-lapse motion picture studies were carried out on isolated fowl embryo osteoclasts in vitro, the cells have an extremely active ruffled border, and show vigorous pinocytotic activity. Electron microscope studies on osmium-fixed cells showed that the pinocytotic vacuoles contained bone salt crystals (as well as material which could not be identified on morphological grounds), and that the folds of the ruffled border enclosed crystals and collagen fibrils. Changes were seen in the matrix beneath the ruffled border. Initially, the collagen fibres became separated from each other and at the same time bone salt crystals became detached from them. Later, as crystals and ground substance disappeared, the outline and cross-striation of the collagen became distinct. The implications of these findings are discussed with respect to the mechanism of bone erosion.

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