MadSci Network: Cell Biology

Re: What is the difference between '-blasts' '-cytes' and '-phils'

Date: Fri Mar 16 09:14:53 2007
Posted By: Michael Onken, Moderator, MadSci Network
Area of science: Cell Biology
ID: 1174055693.Cb

-blast refers to the committed, not terminally differentiated precursor cell in a given lineage of cells. -cyte refers to the terminally differentiated cell. For example, during skeletal muscle differentiation, myoblasts fuse together to form multinucleated myocytes that become the individual fibers of the muscles. Likewise, during wound healing, melanoblasts migrate out under the epidermis where they differentiate into the melanocytes that give our skin color. -phil refers to any cell that preferentially binds a specific histological dye. This is used almost exclusively to catergorize differentiated white blood cells (leukocytes) based on the contents of their cytoplasmic granules: eosinophils have granules that bind the acidic dye eosin; basophils have granules that bind basic dyes like haemotoxylin; and neutrophils have granules that don't bind either.

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