Somatic Cell Membrane – Structures, functions and Microscopic study

 Structures and functions of Somatic Cell Membrane

  • in Somatic Cell Membrane, Phospholipids form the basic structure called lipid bilayer.
  • Scattered in the lipid bilayer are cholesterol molecules, which help to keep the membrane fluid consistent.
  • Membrane proteins are important for transporting substances across the cell membrane.


 The function of Somatic Cell Membrane

The Somatic Cell Membrane gives the cell its structure and regulates the materials that enter and leave the cell. Like a drawbridge intended to protect a castle and keep out enemies, the cell membrane only allows certain molecules to enter or exit.

  • Oxygen which cells need in order to carry out metabolic functions such as cellular respiration, and carbon dioxide, a byproduct of these functions, can easily enter and exit through the membrane.
  • Water can also freely cross the membrane, although it does so at a slower rate.
  • However, highly charged molecules, like ions, cannot directly pass through, nor can large macromolecules like carbohydrates or amino acids. Instead, these molecules must pass through proteins that are embedded in the membrane. In this way, the cell can control the rate of diffusion of these substances.

The microscopic somatic cell count (DMSCC) method

The microscopic somatic cell count (DMSCC) method is an easy to use and cheap method that can be used by a trained technical person/veterinarians under field conditions. In this method – fresh milk is collected, and 5-10 μl of milk is spread on a 1 cm 2 (1 cm×1 cm) area of a degreased microscopic slide then dried in a horizontal position.

  • The films are air-dried with 96% ethyl alcohol for 3 min, air-dried again, defatted with xylene for 10 min, and rinsed with 60% ethyl alcohol, air-dried, and stained with methylene blue dye for 15 min.
  • The slides are then rinsed with water and air-dried again. DLCs are usually used to study the presence of various cell types such as lymphocytes, neutrophils, and macrophages in the milk samples. For viewing and differentiating various cells, the focus is the fixed, and constant adjustment of the microscope’s fine focus is done.
  • SCs in low and high milk SCC of cows estimated by the direct microscopic method.


microscopic somatic cell count (DMSCC)