Home Medical dictionary Definition of target cell

Definition of target cell

by Alivia Nyhan
Published: Last Updated on

The target cell, also known as a target cell, is a term popularly used within the branch of endocrinology to refer to any cell with a receptor that reacts with a hormone, regardless of whether or not this binding generates a physiological response.

Target cells can respond differently to a hormone depending on certain factors, so if you want to know more about the definition of a target cell and what determines its response to a specific hormone, keep reading because at FastlyHealwe explain it to you.

Target cell concept

A target cell is defined as any cell with a specific receptor that reacts with a hormone, antigen, antibody, antibiotic, sensitized T cell, or other substance.

In our body, hormones are released into the bloodstream, where they are kept until a target cell, or appropriate target cell, is found, one that has a receptor in which the hormone can fit and perform the specific task that corresponds to it. The same hormone can affect different cells in the same way that the same cell can be the target of other hormones.

The effects of a hormone on the target cell can be equally varied, allowing the more than 50 known hormones of the human body to exert different functions in our body by matching with the appropriate cell.

Insulin a good example of this process

One of the most straightforward examples of the physiological effect that occurs when hormones are received by the target cells is that of insulin and its action in our body.

Insulin is a hormone produced by the beta cells of the islets of Langerhans, located in our pancreas, the organ responsible for secreting it. When we eat foods rich in sugar, our pancreas initiates the release of insulin for glucose to be used appropriately by the body; in this way, this hormone travels through the bloodstream where muscle cells, which will function as target cells, receive it. Thanks to the union of insulin with its target cells, our body can absorb glucose and convert it into energy, helping us carry out our daily activities without fatigue.

This article is merely informative, at FastlyHeal .com we do not have the power to prescribe medical treatments or make any type of diagnosis. We invite you to see a doctor in the case of presenting any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to the Target cell definition , we recommend that you enter our Medical Dictionary category .

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