The ability of a biological compound to produce several distinct biological responses in many organs or tissues.
(developmental biology) The ability of the cell to develop into more than one cell type.
In immunology, pluripotency is shown by some cytokines such as interferon γ that activates some cell types and inhibits other cell types. For instance, interferon gamma stimulates antibody class switching in B cells, promotes maturation of NK cells, and activates intracellular killing in macrophages.
In developmental biology, pluripotency is exhibited when a stem cell gives rise to many adult cell types.
Word origin: Latin pluri-, many + –potence » from Latin potentia, power, capacity.
Related forms: pluripotent (adjective)
Compare: unipotency, totipotentcy, multipotency.
See also: potency.