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Proliferative nature of adipocytes vs. epithelial cells
#1 Posted : Monday, July 30, 2018 11:00:02 PM
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One of my students posed me the question:

just a quick bio question. In one of the passages I've done, there is a question that asks which of the 4 cell types are the most proliferative:

a) adipocytes
b) cardiac muscle cells
c) epithelial cells of the GI tract
d) neurons

the correct answer is identified to be epithelial cells which makes sense as they are more proliferative than cardiac muscle cells and neurons which become terminally differentiated after they mature (from my understanding). But, how come adipocytes is not a good enough answer?

Answer: The question asks which is the most proliferative. There is no question that GI epithelial cells, with their high rates of turnover, are much more proliferative than adipocytes. In fact, most of adipocyte "growth" occurs because the cells themselves are getting larger, not actually because they are dividing. Furthermore, some types of fully-matured adipocytes are incapable of mitosis.

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