Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Encyclopedia.
Related to dedifferentiate: redifferentiation


n. Biology
Reversion of a specialized cell or tissue to an unspecialized form. Dedifferentiation may occur before the regeneration of appendages in plants and certain animals and in the development of some cancers.

de′dif·fer·en′ti·ate′ v.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (intr)
to undergo the process of dedifferentiation
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.dedifferentiate - lose specialization in form or function
develop - grow, progress, unfold, or evolve through a process of evolution, natural growth, differentiation, or a conducive environment; "A flower developed on the branch"; "The country developed into a mighty superpower"; "The embryo develops into a fetus"; "This situation has developed over a long time"
differentiate - become different during development; "cells differentiate"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
Respectively, during stolon retraction, the exopinacocytes should dedifferentiate to the state of amoeboid wandering cells by means of epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
However, chondrocytes cultured as a monolayer readily dedifferentiate. Chondrocytes lose their chondrogenic characteristics when grown in a monolayer and start to express fibroblast markers such as collagen type I.
The most likely explanation is that it's the body's physiological response to tissue damage, which causes tissue-specific stem cells responsible for regeneration and repair to dedifferentiate - or revert to an unspecialized state - and go into overdrive. 
Early studies in zebrafish led to the idea that dying retinal cells release signals that trigger support cells in the retinal called Muller glia to dedifferentiate -return to a stem-like state - and proliferate.
Transdifferentiation also appears to occur in lens and retina regeneration, where the pigmented epithelial cells dedifferentiate and then form lens epithelial cells or retinal neurons, respectively [1].
also demonstrated that mature adipocytes enter the cell cycle, dedifferentiate into fibroblast-like cells, and proliferate in ceiling culture [32].
(Predictably, he lost his job at a VA hospital.) Becker did not claim to have cured cancer as such, but he observed that cells that are already differentiated into serving a particular function can "dedifferentiate." (This is like stem cells--they can then generate into something else.) His fabulous book is The Body Electric (1985).
Fat stem cells, for example, may change or dedifferentiate when growing in a lab dish, sitting on a warehouse shelf or even following injection into the body, Tuan says.
Alternatively, does HBV infect mature hepatocytes causing them to dedifferentiate into a stem cell lineage as proposed by Arzumanyan et al.
Investigation of the regenerative process through live imaging and molecular studies revealed how this happens: The cardiomyocytes "dedifferentiate" -- that is, they revert to an earlier form, something between an embryonic and an adult cell, which can then divide and differentiate into new heart cells.
(38) We hypothesized that chromatin-modifying agents may induce fibroblasts to dedifferentiate and express pluripotency markers.
Another school of researchers have suggested that cancer cells could arise from mature, differentiated cells that somehow dedifferentiate to become more stem cell-like.