Biology D2

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Comment on the posts with few sentences. Your comments on posts should either add something about your classmate’s cell or discuss that cell’s relationship to another cell (for example, how white blood cells interact with other dying/sick friendly cells) or something (e.g., a disease) that results when that cell fails to do its job. You can use outside resources BUT DON’T FORGET TO CITE THEM.

First Post:

The cell I chose to talk about are melanocytes. I chose melanocytes as I have a very keen interest in the body’s skin as I aspire to be a dermatologist. Ironically, with that being said, I am still an avid sun bather (bad i know!). Most people do not understand why our skin becomes darker in the sun, and I find it very cool. If you are curious, look towards melanocytes! Melanocytes produce a pigment called melanin inside of melanosomes. This is their primary function. They are located in the layer of basal cells at the deepest part of the epidermis (skin). When you sit in the sun, the body triggers the production of melanin which is a protective skin-darkening pigment. Melanin rushes to the surface of the skin to try and keep your body safe. In turn, this protection leads to you turning a darker shade. Melanocytes are dark colored cells that are dendritic in shape. If you are not familiar with various cell shapes dendritic cells are shaped almost tree like and are responsible for initiating most adaptive immune responses. A fun fact is that although your skin’s melanocytes are the main ones talked about, there are melanocytes in the middle layer of the eye, the inner ear, vaginal epithelium, meninges, bones and even in the heart. Additionally, while melanocytes primary function is melanin production they are not the only cells able to produce the cool pigment. Cells in the epithelium of the retina, epithelia of the iris, ciliary body of the eye, some neurons, and adipocytes can too! It is amazing that while researching one type of cell so many other cells are involved with that particular type of cell in so many ways. The human body is amazing with how many cells and various functions each cell has.,the%20basic%20function%20of%20melanocyte (Links to an external site.)
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Second Post:

I currently work on the spinal cord injury team as well as the TBI and Stroke team at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center in Downey, CA as a Speech Language Pathologist Graduate Intern. I work with many patients who have spinal cord injuries secondary to gun shot wounds, car accidents, and surgeries. Many of my patients require speech and language therapy for their eating, swallowing, and speech/language depending on the level of spinal cord injury. One of the cells that is located in the spinal cord and brain is called the neuroglial cell, more specifically, astrocytes. Astrocytes have a specific role to the brain and the Central Nervous System (CNS) found within the spinal cord and that is to maintain brain homeostasis and guide the pathway for neural impulses. The astrocytes provide mechanical support meaning they provide a pathway for the CNS and protect it from damage. From a day to day perspective, astrocytes play a role in how much we sleep, how much nutrition we intake, and energy balance. Research supports the star-shaped quality of astrocytes as fundamental to assist with nerve connectivity to other tissues and the brain. Astrocytes are unique in that they can become like scar tissue after a spinal cord injury. Simply speaking, when the astrocytes become scar-like it prevents axonal regeneration or the ability for the CNS to produce new nerves that fire off to the brain. So it can greatly impede on the plasticity of the brain. Research continues to be done on these specific cells and their role in degenerative diseases such as alzheimers disease and in stroke patients. 

Okada S., Hara M., Kobayakawa K., Matsumoto Y., Nakashima Y., (2017, August 15). Astrocyte reactivity and astrogliosis after spinal cord injury, Neuroscience Research, Volume 126, 2018, Pages 39-43,


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Respond to the comment with few words:


 Your post was an interesting read as I have always been fascinated by the nervous system and how complex it is. Some more facts relating to your post is that glial cells in the brain are made of 3 different cell types. Oligodendrocytes, microglia, and astrocytes. Oligodendrocytes wraps around the axons of neurons and are what makes up the myelin sheath that you talked about. Microglia are the immune cells of the central nervous system and while moving around the brain, communicate with other glia. Lastly, astrocytes surround neurons and support neuron function. they also aid in neuron signaling to other neurons via chemicals. Its amazing how everything is connected!

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