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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 Nerve and Muscle Cell Division
Name: Karen P.
Status: Educator
Age: 30s
Location: N/A
Country: N/A
Date: 2002

Do nerve cell and muscle cell ever undergo cell division. One textbook said they never do, but another source said they do but it may take over 80 years. Which source is correct? Thanks!


Within the last two years, nerve cells have been determined to re-enter the cell cycle under certain conditions. It is more common in nature than previously thought. There are many recent articles in several journals you can refer to for more details.

Muscle cells on the other hand are another matter. However, stem cell research is indicating that they too may reproduce under certain conditions, but those conditions are not natural for it requires re-setting the cell's operons. Muscle cells are so specialized in function(G zero) that they are not set up to return to the cell cycle.

Steve Sample
La Grange, Illinois

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