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Cell potency is a cell's ability to differentiate into other cell types.The more cell types a cell can differentiate into, the greater its potency. Potency is also described as the gene activation potential within a cell which like a continuum begins with totipotency to designate a cell with the most differentiation potential, pluripotency, multipotency, oligopotency and finally unipotency. Potency is taken from the Latin term "potens" which means "having power."
Totipotency is the ability of a single cell to divide and produce all of the differentiated cells in an organism, and example totipotent cells are spores and zygotes.In the spectrum of cell potency, totipotency represents the cell with the greatest differentiation potential. Toti comes from the Latin totus which means "entirely."
In cell biology, pluripotency (from the Latin plurimus, meaning very many, and potens, meaning having power) refers to a stem cell that has the potential to differentiate into any of the three germ layers:
- endoderm (interior stomach lining, gastrointestinal tract, the lungs),
- mesoderm (muscle, bone, blood, urogenital),
- ectoderm (epidermal tissues and nervous system).
Multipotency describes progenitor cells which have the gene activation potential to differentiate into multiple, but limited cell types. For example, a multipotent blood stem cell is a hematopoietic cell — and this cell type can differentiate itself into several types of blood cell types like lymphocytes, monocytes, neutrophils, etc., but cannot differentiate into brain cells, bone cells or other non-blood cell types.
In biology, oligopotency is the ability of progenitor cells to differentiate into a few cell types. It is a degree of potency. Examples of oligopotent stem cells are the lymphoid or myeloid stem cells.A lymphoid cell specifically, can give rise to various blood cells such as B and T cells, however, not to a different blood cell type like a red blood cell.Examples of progenitor cells are vascular stem cells that have the capacity to become both endothelial or smooth muscle cells.
In cell biology, a unipotent cell is the concept that one stem cell has the capacity to differentiate into only one cell type. It is currently unclear if true unipotent stem cells exist. Hepatoblasts, which differentiate into hepatocytes (which constitute most of the liver) or cholangiocytes (epithelial cells of the bile duct), are bipotent. A close synonym for unipotent cell is precursor cell.
Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC)
Induced pluripotent stem cells, commonly abbreviated as iPS cells or iPSCs are a type of pluripotent stem cell artificially derived from a non-pluripotent cell, typically an adult somatic cell, by inducing a "forced" expression of certain genes and transcription factors. These transcription factors play a key role in determining the state of these cells and also highlights the fact that these somatic cells do preserve the same genetic information as early embryonic cells.
The ability to induce cells into a pluripotent state was initially pioneered using mouse fibroblasts and four transcription factors, Oct4, Sox2, Klf4 and c-Myc, in 2006, this technique called reprogramming deserved the The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2012 to Shinya Yamanaka jointly John Gurdon.
A progenitor cell is a biological cell that, like a stem cell, has a tendency to differentiate into a specific type of cell, but is already more specific than a stem cell and is pushed to differentiate into its "target" cell.
The most important difference between stem cells and progenitor cells is that stem cells can replicate indefinitely, whereas progenitor cells can divide only a limited number of times. Controversy about the exact definition remains and the concept is still evolving.
Stem cells are undifferentiated biological cells that can differentiate into specialized cells and can divide (through mitosis) to produce more stem cells. They are found in multicellular organisms. In mammals, there are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells, which are isolated from the inner cell mass of blastocysts, and adult stem cells, which are found in various tissues. In adult organisms, stem cells and progenitor cells act as a repair system for the body, replenishing adult tissues. In a developing embryo, stem cells can differentiate into all the specialized cells—ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm (see induced pluripotent stem cells)—but also maintain the normal turnover of regenerative organs, such as blood, skin, or intestinal tissues.
There are three accessible sources of autologous adult stem cells in humans:
1. Bone marrow, which requires extraction by harvesting, that is, drilling into bone (typically the femur or iliac crest),
2. Adipose tissue (lipid cells), which requires extraction by liposuction, and
- 3. Blood, which requires extraction through apheresis, wherein blood is drawn from the donor (similar to a blood donation), and passed through a machine that extracts the stem cells and returns other portions of the blood to the donor.Stem cells can also be taken from umbilical cord blood just after birth. Of all stem cell types, autologous harvesting involves the least risk. By definition, autologous cells are obtained from one's own body, just as one may bank his or her own blood for elective surgical procedures.
- Adult stem cells are frequently used in medical therapies, for example in bone marrow transplantation. Stem cells can now be artificially grown and transformed (differentiated) into specialized cell types with characteristics consistent with cells of various tissues such as muscles or nerves. Embryonic cell lines and autologous embryonic stem cells generated through Somatic-cell nuclear transfer or dedifferentiation have also been proposed as promising candidates for future therapies
The classical definition of a stem cell requires that it possess two properties:
the ability to go through numerous cycles of cell division while maintaining the undifferentiated state.
the capacity to differentiate into specialized cell types. In the strictest sense, this requires stem cells to be either totipotentor pluripotent—to be able to give rise to any mature cell type, although multipotent or unipotent progenitor cells are sometimes referred to as stem cells.
a stem cell divides into one mother cell that is identical to the original stem cell, and another daughter cell that is differentiated.
when one stem cell develops into two differentiated daughter cells, another stem cell undergoes mitosis and produces two stem cells identical to the original.
Embryonic stem (ES) cells
Embryonic stem (ES) cells are stem cells derived from the inner cell mass of a blastocyst, an early-stage embryo. Human embryos reach the blastocyst stage 4–5 days post fertilization, at which time they consist of 50–150 cells. ES cells are pluripotent and give rise during development to all derivatives of the three primary germ layers: ectoderm, endoderm and mesoderm. In other words, they can develop into each of the more than 200 cell types of the adult body when given sufficient and necessary stimulation for a specific cell type. They do not contribute to the extra-embryonic membranes or the placenta.