What is Cilia?

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“Cilia” is the Latin name for “eyelash”. Found on some parts of the human body, it’s presence in the inner ear makes hearing a possibility. These hair-like tiny structures are the reason why some of the single celled organisms are able to move from a single place to another. Cilia or Cilium provide protection from infections and germs. Just as we say “Individuals score points, but teams win games”, Cilia work together for the common cause of You do not have access to view this node.

 

What is the structure of Cilia?

When we say that Cilia is a” hair like” structure it means that Cilia, is in the shape of a tube and has fine long fibers at its end called as Microtubules which assist in the movement of the You do not have access to view this node. The Microtubules  form a pair and each pair formed is called  a doublet. The cross-section of the doublet of Microtubules is in the form of the figue”8”. The Microtubules  are arranged in a pattern wherein nine doublets form the larger ring in what is known as the 9-2 pattern. This structure of Cilia helped independent cellular structures like Paramecia to locate food rather than wait for food.

 

Wondering where the Cilia get energy to do so many things?  Cilia is provided  by Adenosine Triphosphate  (ATP)  from the energy power houses of the cell known  as the Mitochondria

 

What happens in the absence of Cilia?

Just like even the smallest organelle in our body has an important function without which it  would result in  a major problem cropping up elsewhere. Same with Cilia too.

  • Lack of Cilia in fallopian tubes in females causes ectopic pregnancy. A fertilized ovum would never reach the Uterus if not for Cilia. If the ovum does not reach Uterus it remains in the fallopian tubes causing a tubular pregnancy.
  • The flagellum of the human Sperm is nothing but a modification of Cilia and in case of dysfunction, it may lead to Male Infertility.
  • Defects in Cilia may lead to a few genetic diseases. Ciliopathies, are genetic variations or mutations of Cilia and may cause disorders such Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD).
  • In case of any sort of a defect in Primary Cilium in the renal tubes it can lead to Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) that affects the functioning of the kidney.

 

How do Cilia protect our system?

Cilia protect our system from presence of foreign bodies as they prevent their entry through the nasal passage. Even if they do enter, Cilia are responsible for extracting out dirt and debris from the nasal passage by reverse You do not have access to view this node. Sneezing is one of the ways in which Cilia expels out germs that enter the nose.