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foam cell!!!

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foam cell!!!

Postby anthonyriachy » Wed Jan 02, 2008 7:00 pm

well i've been searching all over the internet to find out if a cell of foam has a vacuol!!!
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Re: foam cell!!!

Postby canalon » Wed Jan 02, 2008 8:30 pm

No foam cells do not have vacuoles, because foam are not living organisms.

I suspect a translation problem since in french the same word (mousse) has 2 meanings in english. The first is foam, which is a mixture of gas in thin liquid membranes, and moss which are a kind of plants. I suspect those plants do have vacuoles, but I am not sure at all so you can use this article as a starting point, maybe: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Moss
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Re: foam cell!!!

Postby biohazard » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:07 am

Actually, I think foam cells here refer to a certain type of malignant or other haematological condition, where some white blood cells appear as highly vacuolised, "foam-like" cells. However, it's been ages since I last heard about foam cells, so I'm not 100% if the vacuole-resembling things in the cytoplasm actually are vacuoles. I'll check some heamatology textbooks if I manage to find some references about this...

Oh, and as a side note: one exclamation point is usually quite sufficient, isn't it?!?!1!
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Re: foam cell!!!

Postby biohazard » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:40 am

Okay, didn't get my hands on a text book yet, but during my coffee break I realised that foam cells were not linked to any malignancy, but are actually macrophages that have endocytosed lipid droplets. The phenomenon is linked to aterosclerosis or some such condition, where an excess of LDL is "cleaned up" by macrophages, which then end up looking foamy. So, if I'm correct this time, the "foam" in foam cells is not vacuoles, but LDL droplets instead :)
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Postby MrMistery » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:43 pm

well according to current views animal cells do not have vacuoles. Only plant cells have vacuoles, which are nothing less than specialized lysosomes.
So if your foam cells are macrophages, they definitely do not have vacuoles.
"As a biologist, I firmly believe that when you're dead, you're dead. Except for what you live behind in history. That's the only afterlife" - J. Craig Venter
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Re: foam cell!!!

Postby biohazard » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:45 pm

Ah, a good point!

Anyways, forget the stuff about malignancies and such - I did check from a textbook and "foam cells" are indeed macrophages full of endocytosed LDL droplets and other debris that is associated with excess lipids stuck on the vascular endothelium :)
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Postby canalon » Thu Jan 03, 2008 6:39 pm

And I have to excuse myself for my ignorance. I had never heard of those. Well i'll go to bed a little less ignorant tonight.
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