i got results which point towards the fact that a phenomenon can be explained by the existence of 2 different functional states of the same cell, rather than them representing 2 different cell types. Now I'm discussing this interpretation in the discussion part of my thesis, but I also wanted to (in the same paragraph) make suggestions on how this question may be definitely settled in future experiments.
Now I stumbled on the problem that I'm not sure which methods that would be !! In literature I could not find any hard criteria on how to discern functional states of the same cell versus different cell types. I'd be grateful if anyone could point me to useful papers in this respect.
Generally, I thought about studying the reversibility of transitions, with irreversibility meaning that they are two different cell types rather than states. I also considered studying gene expression profile or epigenetic changes, but for both of them they would also differ between different functional states, not only between different cell types. So I'm at a loss as to which method(s) to propose ?
Does anyone have any ideas or literature to help me out ? How CAN you actually safely discern between functional states of the same cell type and different cell types ?