TRANSDIFFERENTIATION MEANS THE conversion of one differentiated cell type into another. It occurs naturally in only a few instances of regeneration. A celebrated example is the Wolffian regeneration of the lens in newts, where removal of the lens of the eye provokes formation of a new lens derived from the cells of the iris.

To prove the occurrence of transdifferentiation, it is necessary to define carefully the phenotype of the starting and the final cell type. It is also necessary to provide evidence of a cell lineage relationship to exclude artifacts such as selective overgrowth of one cell population by another. Such evidence has not always been forthcoming, leading to some controversy about whether trans—differentiation occurs at all.

Transdifferentiation is a subset of a more general set ...

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