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Post by epicionado » Fri May 08, 2009 6:10 am

I am looking for some basic information about differentiation in general.

Do cells actively divide during the differentiation process? I mean, when a progenitor cell is activated (by antigen or some other stimuli), do they keep dividing during the various stages of differentiation?
I would appreciate help on this. If you know of any good review, I would love to check it out.


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Post by MrMistery » Fri May 08, 2009 1:44 pm

Generally no, but it might depend on a cell. If a B cell is triggered into differentiating (the process of maturation) then it can later become a plasma cell, whose sole purpose in life is to divide and make antibodies. But the division is not part of the maturation - the cell is already mature when it divides.

However, as a rule of thumb, differentiation is the structural specialization of the cell to better fulfill a function or another. I don't think this definition can include any type of cell division.
"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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