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noun, plural: syncytia

An epithelium or tissue characterized by cytoplasmic continuity, or a large mass of cytoplasm not separated into individual cells and containing many nuclei.


Syncytium may be formed by the fusion of two or more cells, forming a giant cell. An example of syncytium can be found in skeletal muscles, which is essential since it allows rapid coordinated contraction of muscles along the entire length.

Word origin: New Latin syn- (together with) + cyto (cell) + -ium.
Related forms: syncytial (adjective)

Variant: syncitium

Related terms: