It is often stated that most cells in the human body have a primary cilium.

Which ones don't? For which cells is it unknown?

  • $\begingroup$ Hi, if you found my answer acceptable, it would be a nice gesture to show this by marking it as accepted. $\endgroup$
    – user560
    May 26, 2014 at 15:29
  • $\begingroup$ Thank you for the answer, @leonardo, but I was asking about unciliated cells in particular. I'll wait to see if anyone can provide a more authoritative answer saying there are none, or an example of cells with no cilia. $\endgroup$
    – Superbest
    May 26, 2014 at 20:53

1 Answer 1


It seems that, by and large, most animal and plant cells have primary cilia. To quote from this open access paper:

".[..] organisms that form cilia have a basal body or centriole-like structure as their microtubule-organizing center, whereas those that do not [e.g., yeast, higher plants] use morphologically distinct structures for organization of their microtubule cytoskeleton."

Other cases where cells lack primary cilia are when they possess motile cilia (e.g., sperm are mono-ciliated, respiratory epithelia are multi-cilliated).

  1. Fry AM, Leaper MJ, Bayliss R. The primary cilium: Guardian of organ development and homeostasis. Organogenesis. 2014 Jan 1;10(1):62-68. Epub 2014 Apr 17.

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