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|Anatomical terms of microanatomy|
In cell biology, a precursor cell, also called a blast cell or simply blast, is a partially differentiated cell, usually referred to as a unipotent cell that has lost most of its stem cell properties. A precursor cell is also known as a progenitor cell but progenitor cells are multipotent. Precursor cells are known as the intermediate cell before they become differentiated after being a stem cell.
Usually, a precursor cell is a stem cell with the capacity to differentiate into only one cell type. Sometimes, precursor cell is used as an alternative term for unipotent stem cells. In embryology, precursor cells are a group of cells that later differentiate into one organ.
A blastoma is any cancer created by malignancies of precursor cells.
Precursor cells, and progenitor cells, have many potential uses in medicine. As of 2017[update], there is research being done to use these cells to build heart valves, blood vessels and other tissues, by using blood and muscle precursor, or progenitor cells.
- Oligodendrocyte precursor cell
- Bone marrow precursor cells
- Angioblast (endothelial precursor cells)
- Myeloid precursor cells
- "4. The Adult Stem Cell | stemcells.nih.gov". stemcells.nih.gov. Retrieved 2017-10-21.
- "What are Progenitor Cells? | Boston Children's Hospital". stemcell.childrenshospital.org. Retrieved 2017-10-21.