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noun, plural: megakaryocytes

A large cell in the bone marrow with characteristic lobulate nucleus and is primarily involved in the production of blood thrombocytes or platelets.


Megakaryocytes are the mature form of promegakaryocytes that originate from the megakaryoblasts. These cells owe their name from their large cell size that is 10 times larger than a typical erythrocyte. It is large because within the cell the DNA replicates but does not involve cytokinesis. Thus, the cell appears to contain many nuclei but it only has a single nucleus that became large and lobulated.

Word origin: Greek mégas, large + Greek karuo-, nut + -cyte, cell.

Related forms: megakaryocytic (adjective)

See also: platelet, megakaryoblast

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