Pluripotent vs Totipotent
The entire human body is made up of over 200 cell types. All these cell types basically arise from a single type of cell called ‘stem cells’. Stem cells are defined as the cells having the ability to self-renewal and to differentiate into one or all of the more than 200 cell types that make the entire body. There are four different stem cells found in the body; those are unipotent, which gives rise to only a single cell type, multipotent, which produces a limited number of cell types, totipotent, which forms all types of cell at any stage of development, and pluripotent, which gives rise to all the cell types in the adult body. Out of these four types, pluripotent and totipotent have the ability to form any cell type in different stages of human development.
Pluripotent cells are the stem cells that give rise to any kind of cells developing from all three embryonic germ layers including endoderm, ectoderm and mesoderm. That means pluripotent cells can form any type of cell in the adult body. Pluripotent cells have the same capabilities of totipotent cells with one exception; they do not form trophoblast. Because of this exception, pluripotent cells cannot develop into full human being.
Totipotent cell is defined as the cell having the ability to create all types of cells in an organism at any stage of development. Unlike the other stem cells, totipotent stem cells are extremely rare. In humans, only the first eight cells that form zygote are only totipotent as they have the ability to turn into any type of cell during the embryonic development. Therefore, unlike the other stem cells, totipotent cells have the ability to form an entire human being.
What is the difference between Pluripotent and Totipotent?
• Totipotent cells have the ability to form any cell type at any stage of development, whereas pluripotent cells have the ability to form any cell type after first few cleavages of embryo.
• All the cells including pluripotent cells are derived from totipotent cells during the embryonic development.
• Unlike pluripotent, totipotent is extremely rare.
• Unlike the pluripotent cells, totipotent cells have the ability to form an entire human being.
• Totipotent forms the trophoblast, whereas pluripotent does not.
• Totipotent cells have potential of becoming an embryo, whereas pluripotent cells do not.