Having unlimited capability. A totipotent cell has the capacity to form an entire organism. Human development begins when a sperm fertilizes an egg and creates a single totipotent cell. In the first hours after fertilization, this cell divides into identical totipotent cells. Approximately four days after fertilization and after several cycles of cell division, these totipotent cells begin to specialize. Totipotent is as opposed to pluripotent and multipotent. Totipotent cells have total potential. They specialize into pluripotent cells that can give rise to most, but not all, of the tissues necessary for fetal development. Pluripotent cells undergo further specialization into multipotent cells that are committed to give rise to cells that have a particular function. For example, multipotent blood stem cells give rise to the red cells, white cells and platelets in the blood.

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to·ti·po·tent tō-'tip-ət-ənt adj capable of developing into a complete organism or differentiating into any of its cells or tissues <\totipotent blastomeres>

Medical dictionary. 2011.

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  • totipotent — totipotent, ente [ tɔtipɔtɑ̃, ɑ̃t ] adj. • 1897; lat. totus « tout entier », d apr. omnipotent ♦ Biol. Se dit de cellules embryonnaires non encore différenciées capables de se développer en un organisme entier (ex. les gamètes). N. f. TOTIPOTENCE …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • totipotent — 1901, from L. toti , comb. form of totus whole (see TOTAL (Cf. total)) + POTENT (Cf. potent) …   Etymology dictionary

  • totipotent — [tō tip′ə tənt] adj. [ TOTI + POTENT] capable of developing into a complete embryo or organ: said of a cleavage cell totipotency [tō tip′ətən sē] n …   English World dictionary

  • Totipotent — Totipotenz bezeichnet die Fähigkeit zur Bildung des Ganzen. In der Zellbiologie werden Zellen dann als totipotent bezeichnet, wenn sie in geeigneter Umgebung (Gebärmutter) noch zu kompletten Individuen heranwachsen können. Für die Entwicklung von …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • totipotent — adjective Etymology: Latin totus whole, entire + English i + potent Date: circa 1899 capable of developing into a complete organism or differentiating into any of its cells or tissues < totipotent stem cells > • totipotency noun …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • totipotent — Capable of giving rise to all types of differentiated cell found in that organism. A single totipotent cell could, by division, reproduce the whole organism …   Dictionary of molecular biology

  • totipotent — to|ti|po|tẹnt 〈Adj.〉 totipotente Zellen 〈Genetik; Med.〉 noch nicht differenzierte Zellen, die zu einem ganzen Organismus heranwachsen können; die befruchtete Eizelle ist in ihrer ersten Entwicklungsphase totipotent [Etym.: <lat. totus »ganz,… …   Lexikalische Deutsches Wörterbuch

  • totipotent — toti|potẹnt [zu lat. totustotipotent= ganz u. lat. potens, Gen.: potentistotipotent= einer Sache mächtig, fähig]:totipotent= omnipotent …   Das Wörterbuch medizinischer Fachausdrücke

  • totipotent — adjective having the ability to give rise to unlike cells embryonic stem cells are totipotent • Pertains to noun: ↑totipotency • Derivationally related forms: ↑totipotency, ↑totipotence • Topics: ↑cell …   Useful english dictionary

  • totipotent — adj. [L. totus, all; potens, capable] Said of isolated blastomeres capable of becoming complete embryos …   Dictionary of invertebrate zoology

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