This is an extract of our Stem Cells document, which we sell as part of our Organisation of the Body Notes collection written by the top tier of Oxford students.
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-stem cells are undifferentiated and are capable of self renewal and division without limit
-two types of division- symmetric division- forms two daughter cells that both remain as stem cells- asymmetric division one of the 2 daughter cells becomes a transit amplifying cells-committed to a specific fate
-whether the stem cells divides symmetrically/ asymmetrically depends on the positioning of the spindle fibres- if they are placed vertically the membrane protein 'numb/par' is distributed evenly whereas if spindle fibres are aligned horizontallythe membrane protein is asymmetrically distributed
-the number of different cell types the transit amplifying cells can differentiate into determines the potency of the stem cell
-totipotent stem cells can differentiate into all types of cells including extraembryonic structures (placenta)
-pluripotent cells can differentiate into all the cells in the embryo- multipotent cells differentiate into one of the germ layers- multiple lineages of cells found in the embryo whereas unipotent stem cell can only differentiate into one type of cell Detecting the presence of stem cells- label them with a radioactive nucleotidesBRDU- the highest concentration of these radioactive nucleotides are found in stem cells as these are label retaining cells as they have a low rate of turnover The role of stem cells in development Embryonic stem cells
-totipotent stem cells- can from entire blastocyst
-cleavage, 2-4 cell stage
-pluripotent- can form embryo but not surrounding tissue- forms the three germ layers
-8 cell stage
-Somites via cell induction produce myocytes- Example of induction- inductive processes occurs in muscle development in a developing embryo- the myotome which differentiates into muscle cells is induced by surrounding cells of the neural tube, epidermis and the lateral plate mesoderm- the neural tube releases signalling molecules- neurotrophin 3, Wingless family 1,3- this results the transcription factor Myf5 to be produced in hypaxial muscles and Pax3,Myod be produced in epaxial muscles.
-neural crest cells- can differentiate into Schwann cells, melanocytes- failure of migration of the neural crest cells leads to the Pie-Bald defect, sympathetic ganglia, parasympathetic ganglia Fate mapping is used to show what different cells the neural crest cells differentiate into. Moving stem cells into different locations determines potency/ using a culture dish the potency can be tested to see what structures derive
-limb development- stem cells 'chondroblasts/osteoblasts proliferate and terminally differentiate- mutations in the FGF3 receptor it leads to Achondroplasia Adult stem cells
-important to maintain cell populations for long periods of time
-committed stem cell- give rise to smaller subpopulations of cells
-multipotent- give rise to many cell types
-unipotenti- give rise to one type of cells
-important for the continued production of epithelium, blood, muscle, liver and brain Renewal in epithelium: skin
-skin is stratified squamous epithelium layer
-basal cells contains proliferating stem cells- few true stem cells and many transit amplifying cells. True stem cells don't divide very often as this limits the potential for mutations during DNA replication- reduces the chance of cancer and also has the potential for very rapid repopulation when required.
-cells move through layers of skin to replace cells sloughed off at the surface
-cells move through states of gene expression towards terminal differentiation
-cells express a seires of different keratin proteins during differentiation
. To remain as an epidermal stem cell, the cell has to be attached to the extra cellular matrix of the basal lamina and this ensures the size of the stem cell population doesn't increase without limit because if the cells become crowded out they lose their stem cell character and they differentiate. This was shown when basal keratinocytes are held in suspension instead of being allowed to settle and attach to the bottom. This resulted in the inhibition of division in basal keratinocytes and led to their differentiation. The epidermal stem cells can be used to repair extensive burns- stem cells from the basal layer can be removed from the basal layer and cultured to obtain a large number of keratinocytes which is used to repopulate the damaged body surface
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