t cells and skin cells- can anyone help me with my misunderstanding Watch

utv
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hi. I thought that only stem cells which are undifferentiated cells can undergo mitosis and once specialised such as t cells or skin cells. they can no longer divide as they are specialised.

however when reading my book it states t cells can divide rapidly by mitosis in an immune response and also when there is a wound skin cells replicate?

do they not contradict each other as I thought only undifferentiated cells replicate but here the specialised cells replicate. thanks for your time 😁
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ASLevelStudent
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I think almost all cells undergo mitosis. The purpose of mitosis is: Growth, repair, and replacement, and as you said it has a use in immunology. Growth is an increase in the total number of cells in an organism right so how else would we grow if all our cells did not undergo mitosis and how would the t lymphocytes be able to put up a fight with just one cell against pathogens if the specific helper T cell did not undergo mitosis - A single T cell would be ineffective.Although it leads to a period of illness mitosis of the specific helper T cells is important to kill the vast number of pathogens ( the pathogen e.g bacteria can also divide but by binary fission, viruses have their own method of division with no specific name).
But I think you are confused about how only stem cells can defferentiate but once differentiated you cannot go back, not weather only stem cells can divide.
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Ambitious1999
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(Original post by utv)
hi. I thought that only stem cells which are undifferentiated cells can undergo mitosis and once specialised such as t cells or skin cells. they can no longer divide as they are specialised.

however when reading my book it states t cells can divide rapidly by mitosis in an immune response and also when there is a wound skin cells replicate?

do they not contradict each other as I thought only undifferentiated cells replicate but here the specialised cells replicate. thanks for your time 😁
It’s true differentiated cells can still divide, the only exception is neurons which can no longer divide.
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utv
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oh ok. so all cells can undergo mitosis? I was confused as my book said only stem cells divide. I thought that t cells were formed from stem cells. what is unique to other cells then to stem cells if it is not division.

thanks for the help
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Ambitious1999
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(Original post by utv)
hi. I thought that only stem cells which are undifferentiated cells can undergo mitosis and once specialised such as t cells or skin cells. they can no longer divide as they are specialised.

however when reading my book it states t cells can divide rapidly by mitosis in an immune response and also when there is a wound skin cells replicate?

do they not contradict each other as I thought only undifferentiated cells replicate but here the specialised cells replicate. thanks for your time 😁
It’s true differentiated cells can still divide, the only exception is neurons which can no longer divide.
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utv
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is this incorrect. as surley skin cells undergo mitosis otherwise if we get cut we wouldn't have new skin? im so confused. sorry
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xXxdmedxXx
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T cells are activated by the immune system. When our body recognises a foreign substance it tries to eradicate this and induce memory to provide immunity. So, when the T cell is activated it divides (by mitosis) and forms many many copies of itself so that these T cells can all patrol the body and search for any other foreign pathogens so that our entire body can be free from infection.

Skin cells are constantly undergoing mitosis. This is because they undergo a process known as desquamation. All this means is that every few days our skin cells on the surface are shed and new ones are formed below (via mitosis). Again, this is for protection.

So, most specialised cells do not undergo mitosis but some do, it’s usually to protect your body.
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utv
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thank you for this. much appreciated
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Jpw1097
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(Original post by utv)
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is this incorrect. as surley skin cells undergo mitosis otherwise if we get cut we wouldn't have new skin? im so confused. sorry
No, that’s correct. Not all cells are capable of undergoing mitosis. It’s not just neurones that are incapable of undergoing mitosis, the same applies to virtually all terminally differentiated cells such as cardiomyocytes (heart muscle cells). Using your example of skin, the basal layer of the epidermis contains stem cells which proliferate and differentiate and give rise to the upper layers of the epidermis. However, the skin cells in these upper layers of the epidermis cannot proliferate (i.e. undergo mitosis). As the image states, there are a few exceptions to this including hepatocytes and T and B cells. Do not get tissues confused with cells. Terminally differentiated cells do not have the ability to undergo mitosis (the exceptions are listed above), however, tissues can contain a combination of terminally differentiated cells and stem cells which help to regenerate the tissue.
As a cell becomes more specialised (i.e. from a stem cell to a progenitor cell to a terminally differentiated cell) it loses the ability to proliferate.
Last edited by Jpw1097; 11 months ago
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