MadSci Network: General Biology

Re: What might happen to tissues if some disorder blocked mitoses in all cells?

Date: Mon Nov 1 06:29:44 2004
Posted By: Dr. Nagesh N Bhat, Post-doc/Fellow, Biophysics,
Area of science: General Biology
ID: 1098991074.Gb

The cells in our body may be broadly divided by their divisional 
activities. Nature has cleverly placed the stem cells at the locations 
where they are really required. For instance, there are haematopoietic stem
cells in bone marrow, stem cells in the basal layer of skin and the lining layer
of lumen, spermatogonial cells in man's reproductive system and many more such
places which require a constant supply of functional cells. Usually, the
functional cells, that is, those that are responsible for 
functions of our body, are either slow dividing or not dividing at all. 
However, they are exposed to constant wear out kinds of situations. Hence, 
they need to be constantly replaced. Stem cells do that job very 

If by some method the cell division is stopped, it leads to cut off of the 
supply of functional cells. For example, if bone marrow is depleted, there 
will be a drastic reduction (within 60 days) in the lymphocyte counts as 
well as the level of other blood cells leading to infection and other 
blood related disorders. If crypt cells in the intestine are damaged (say by 
very high doses of radiation), it leads to gastointestinal damage and can 
lead to lethal effects due to ion imbalance in the intestine.

Comparatively stable cells such as nerve cells are least affected against 
environmental causes because the wear and tear of these cells are not much.
Nevertheless, when all stem cell division is affected, nerve cells will
eventually also be affected.

When the supply line of functional cells is cut off, it leads to fibrosis 
of tissue leading to either impaired functionality of the tissue or its 

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