Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A multinucleated mass of cytoplasm that is not separated into individual cells.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mass of cytoplasm containing many nuclei.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Tissue in which the cell or partition walls are wholly wanting and the cell bodies fused together, so that the tissue consists of a continuous mass of protoplasm in which nuclei are imbedded, as in ordinary striped muscle.
  • n. The ectoderm of a sponge.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A multinucleate cell; a cell-aggregate; a single cell with two or more nuclei, resulting from the division of an originally single nucleus in the course of the growth of the cell, unaccompanied by any division of the cell-substance proper, or from the concrescence of a number of cells the protoplasm of which runs together, but the respective nuclei of which do not coalesce.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. a mass of cytoplasm containing several nuclei and enclosed in a membrane but no internal cell boundaries (as in muscle fibers)

Etymologies

New Latin : syn- + cyt(o)- + -ium.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Ancient Greek σύν (sun, "with") + κύτος (kutos, "vessel, cell") (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The cells of the trophoblast become differentiated into two strata: an outer, termed the syncytium or syncytiotrophoblast, so named because it consists of a layer of protoplasm studded with nuclei, but showing no evidence of subdivision into cells; and an inner layer, the cytotrophoblast or layer of Langhans, in which the cell outlines are defined.

    I. Embryology. 5. Segmentation of the Fertilized Ovum

  • The fibers are made up of distinct quadrangular cells, joined end to end so as to form a syncytium (Fig. 499).

    V. Angiology. 4b. The Heart

  • Within these solid plexuses and also within the isolated masses of angioblasts vacuoles appear through liquefaction of the central part of the syncytium into plasma.

    V. Angiology. 3. Development of the Vascular System

  • In some organs, e. g., the glomeruli of the kidneys, intercellular cement cannot be demonstrated in the capillary wall and the cells are believed to form a syncytium.

    V. Angiology. Introduction

  • The spongioblasts are at first connected to one another by filaments of the syncytium; in these, fibrils are developed, so that as the neuroglial cells become defined they exhibit their characteristic mature appearance with multiple processes proceeding from each cell.

    IX. Neurology. 2. Development of the Nervous System

  • This syncytium consists at first of dense protoplasm with closely packed nuclei, but later it opens out and forms a looser meshwork with the cellular strands arranged in a radiating manner from the central canal.

    IX. Neurology. 2. Development of the Nervous System

  • The cells which constitute the wall of the tube proliferate rapidly, lose their cell-boundaries and form a syncytium.

    IX. Neurology. 2. Development of the Nervous System

  • The muscle cells act as a syncytium, in which spontaneous depolarising pacemaker potentials occur.

    Conservapedia - Recent changes [en]

  • The F protein mediates viral penetration and syncytium formation.

    PLoS ONE Alerts: New Articles

  • (A) Maximal projection of a Texas Red-labelled astrocyte syncytium after patching a single astrocyte with a Texas Red-containing pipette in an EC slice.

    PLoS Biology: New Articles

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