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The Growth Process

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Abstract

The sections in this article are:

1 Cells and the Growth of Tissues and Organs
1.1 Stem Cells and Progenitor Cells
1.2 Regenerating and Nonregenerating Tissues
1.3 Control of Organ Size
1.4 The Dynamic State of the Body Constituents
1.5 Cell Growth and Organ Growth
1.6 The Nervous System
1.7 Muscle
1.8 Adipose Tissue
1.9 The Skeleton
2 Prenatal Growth
2.1 The Auxology of the Embryo
2.2 Growth of the Fetus
3 Postnatal Growth
3.1 The Human Growth Curve
3.2 Regulation of Growth: Canalization and Catch‐Up
3.3 Growth from Birth to 2 Years
3.4 Mathematical Modeling of the Postnatal Growth Curve
3.5 Structural Average, Mean‐Constant Curves
3.6 The Concept of Maturational or Development Age
3.7 Types of Growth Data: Longitudinal and Cross‐Sectional
3.8 Growth of Different Tissues and Parts of the Body
4 Evolution of the Human Growth Curve
5 ENVOI: A Glance Toward the History of Auxology
Figure 1. Figure 1.

Phases of cell and organ growth: phase 1, multiplication of all cells without addition of cytoplasm; phase 2, multiplication of some cells and addition of cytoplasm; phase 3, no multiplication of cells, further addition of cytoplasm.

From Tanner
Figure 2. Figure 2.

A: Diagram of limb bone with upper and lower epiphyses. B: Magnification of epiphysis‐shaft junction to show zones of cells.

From Tanner
Figure 3. Figure 3.

Distance (A) and velocity (B) curves of growth in body length in the prenatal and early postnatal period. Diagram based on several sources of data. Solid lines represent actual length and length velocity; dashed lines, the theoretical curve if no uterine restriction took place.

From Tanner
Figure 4. Figure 4.

Growth in height of de Montbeillard's son from birth to 18 years (1759–1777). A: Distance curve, height attained at successive ages. B: Velocity curve, increments from year to year.

From Tanner , redrawn from data of Scammon, 1927
Figure 5. Figure 5.

Height curve (bold line with plotted points) of a girl with celiac syndrome, showing catch‐up following dietary treatment started at arrow.

From Tanner unpublished
Figure 6. Figure 6.

A: Velocity expected in catch‐up growth, assuming control system described in text. Catch‐up is proportional to mismatch M2, which is greater than mismatch when starvation began and equal to mismatch at an earlier age, represented by M1. B: Hypothetical explanation of incomplete catch‐up following prolonged and/or early starvation. For explanation, see text.

From Tanner
Figure 7. Figure 7.

Correlations between adult height and height of the same individuals as children.

From Tanner , where sources of data are detailed
Figure 8. Figure 8.

A: Attained weight from birth to age 3 of boys grouped according to birthweight. B: Weight velocity curves of babies of 5–6 lb and 9–10 lb birthweight. Mixed longitudinal data of Ministry of Health, 1959.

From Tanner
Figure 9. Figure 9.

Triple logistic (BTT) model fitted to Fels subject. A: Distance curve, with residuals. B: Velocity curve.

Courtesy of Dr. Darrel Bock
Figure 10. Figure 10.

Means ± standard deviations of age and of amplitude for each spurt and lag in 80 Edinburgh boys; curves centered by peak height velocity.

From Butler et al.
Figure 11. Figure 11.

Relation between individual and mean velocities during the pubertal spurt. A: Height curves plotted by chronological age B: Height curves plotted each individual's time of peak velocity. Solid lines, individuals; dashed line, means of each of five individuals for each successive age.

From Tanner , after Shuttleworth
Figure 12. Figure 12.

Structural average height velocity curves for boys (A) and girls (B) becoming tall (—–) and short (……) adults.

From Gasser et al.
Figure 13. Figure 13.

Differing degrees of pubertal development at the same chronological age. Upper row, three boys all aged 14.75 years; lower row, three girls all aged 12.75 years.

From Tanner and Whitehouse
Figure 14. Figure 14.

Growth curves of different parts and tissues of the body, showing the four chief types. Curves are of size attained in percent of gain from birth to age 20 years, so size at 20 is 100. Lymphoid type: thymus, lymph nodes, intestinal lymph masses. Brain and head type: brain and its parts, spinal cord, optic apparatus, cranial dimensions. General type: external dimensions except head, respiratory and digestive organs, kidneys, aortic and pulmonary trunks, musculature. Reproductive type: testis, ovary, epididymis, prostate, seminal vesicles, Fallopian tube, uterus.

From Tanner , after Scammon, 1930
Figure 15. Figure 15.

Distance curve of subcutaneous fat measured by Harpenden skinfold caliper over triceps and under scapula. British children, 50th centile.

From Tanner
Figure 16. Figure 16.

Muscle growth at puberty: sum of widths of upper arm and calf muscles measured radiographically. A: Distance curves B: Velocity curves.

From Tanner
Figure 17. Figure 17.

Percentage of total brain volume contributed by parts of the brain from postmenstrual age 3 months to adult. Cerebrum includes hemispheres, corpus striatum, and diencephalon.

From Tanner , after Dunn, 1921
Figure 18. Figure 18.

Weight velocity curves for mouse, rhesus monkey, chimpanzee, and human.

From Tanner , where sources of data are detailed


Figure 1.

Phases of cell and organ growth: phase 1, multiplication of all cells without addition of cytoplasm; phase 2, multiplication of some cells and addition of cytoplasm; phase 3, no multiplication of cells, further addition of cytoplasm.

From Tanner


Figure 2.

A: Diagram of limb bone with upper and lower epiphyses. B: Magnification of epiphysis‐shaft junction to show zones of cells.

From Tanner


Figure 3.

Distance (A) and velocity (B) curves of growth in body length in the prenatal and early postnatal period. Diagram based on several sources of data. Solid lines represent actual length and length velocity; dashed lines, the theoretical curve if no uterine restriction took place.

From Tanner


Figure 4.

Growth in height of de Montbeillard's son from birth to 18 years (1759–1777). A: Distance curve, height attained at successive ages. B: Velocity curve, increments from year to year.

From Tanner , redrawn from data of Scammon, 1927


Figure 5.

Height curve (bold line with plotted points) of a girl with celiac syndrome, showing catch‐up following dietary treatment started at arrow.

From Tanner unpublished


Figure 6.

A: Velocity expected in catch‐up growth, assuming control system described in text. Catch‐up is proportional to mismatch M2, which is greater than mismatch when starvation began and equal to mismatch at an earlier age, represented by M1. B: Hypothetical explanation of incomplete catch‐up following prolonged and/or early starvation. For explanation, see text.

From Tanner


Figure 7.

Correlations between adult height and height of the same individuals as children.

From Tanner , where sources of data are detailed


Figure 8.

A: Attained weight from birth to age 3 of boys grouped according to birthweight. B: Weight velocity curves of babies of 5–6 lb and 9–10 lb birthweight. Mixed longitudinal data of Ministry of Health, 1959.

From Tanner


Figure 9.

Triple logistic (BTT) model fitted to Fels subject. A: Distance curve, with residuals. B: Velocity curve.

Courtesy of Dr. Darrel Bock


Figure 10.

Means ± standard deviations of age and of amplitude for each spurt and lag in 80 Edinburgh boys; curves centered by peak height velocity.

From Butler et al.


Figure 11.

Relation between individual and mean velocities during the pubertal spurt. A: Height curves plotted by chronological age B: Height curves plotted each individual's time of peak velocity. Solid lines, individuals; dashed line, means of each of five individuals for each successive age.

From Tanner , after Shuttleworth


Figure 12.

Structural average height velocity curves for boys (A) and girls (B) becoming tall (—–) and short (……) adults.

From Gasser et al.


Figure 13.

Differing degrees of pubertal development at the same chronological age. Upper row, three boys all aged 14.75 years; lower row, three girls all aged 12.75 years.

From Tanner and Whitehouse


Figure 14.

Growth curves of different parts and tissues of the body, showing the four chief types. Curves are of size attained in percent of gain from birth to age 20 years, so size at 20 is 100. Lymphoid type: thymus, lymph nodes, intestinal lymph masses. Brain and head type: brain and its parts, spinal cord, optic apparatus, cranial dimensions. General type: external dimensions except head, respiratory and digestive organs, kidneys, aortic and pulmonary trunks, musculature. Reproductive type: testis, ovary, epididymis, prostate, seminal vesicles, Fallopian tube, uterus.

From Tanner , after Scammon, 1930


Figure 15.

Distance curve of subcutaneous fat measured by Harpenden skinfold caliper over triceps and under scapula. British children, 50th centile.

From Tanner


Figure 16.

Muscle growth at puberty: sum of widths of upper arm and calf muscles measured radiographically. A: Distance curves B: Velocity curves.

From Tanner


Figure 17.

Percentage of total brain volume contributed by parts of the brain from postmenstrual age 3 months to adult. Cerebrum includes hemispheres, corpus striatum, and diencephalon.

From Tanner , after Dunn, 1921


Figure 18.

Weight velocity curves for mouse, rhesus monkey, chimpanzee, and human.

From Tanner , where sources of data are detailed
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How to Cite

James M. Tanner. The Growth Process. Compr Physiol 2011, Supplement 24: Handbook of Physiology, The Endocrine System, Hormonal Control of Growth: 1-35. First published in print 1999. doi: 10.1002/cphy.cp070501