Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Muscle and Nerve Mitosis
Name: K.B. 
Status: Educator
Age: 50s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: February 2003


Question:
Do nerve and muscle cells go through "regular" mitosis? And if they do how long is the process? If nerve cells go through mitosis, why do we have unrepaired nerve damage?



Replies:
Some cells are permanently arrested in G1 interphase once they are created by mitosis. Most nerve cells fit this category. Actually when cells are "stuck" in G1, we call this G0 (that should be a subscript zero). All cells sit in G1 until given the Go signal by a transcription factor or hormone, or some other cell signal. These are specific for the type of cell and where it is in the body. For example, squamous epithelial cells in the cheek have a very rapid cell cycle because they need to be replaced constantly. However, nerve cells don't get the Go signal again once they have been produced. Therefore, if they are lost, they don't get replaced. Scientists are trying to figure out a way to get the body to make more from stem cells.

They have had some success. The same applies to muscle cells. Each cell can make more fibers in its life time, which allows the muscle cells and therefore the muscle to "pump up" during much use. When the exercise is discontinued, the extra fibers are broken down again and the muscles atrophy. vanhoeck



Click here to return to the Molecular Biology Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (help@newton.dep.anl.gov), or at Argonne's Educational Programs

NEWTON AND ASK A SCIENTIST
Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory