from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

As syncytium or syncytium (from ancient Greek σύν syn , German 'with, together' and κύτος kýtos "vessel", "cavity" or "cell"; plural: syncytia or syncytia ), also coenoblast ( κοινός koinós "together", βλάστη blástē "scion") or coenocyte (κοινός + κύτος), is a multinucleated (polyenergid) cell or a multinuclear organism without cellular subdivision. A syncytium can arise either through nuclear divisions without subsequent cell divisions or secondary through fusion of cells. The latter is the original and still predominant meaning of syncytium , while primarily multinucleated organisms are referred to as coenoblasts , siphonal or plasmodia .

As functional syncytia cells are referred, which are morphologically separated from each other, their cytoplasm but via gap junctions is connected.


Syncytia or coenoblasts are for example:

Syncytia in evolutionary models

Occasionally, the special organization of the eyelash animals ( ciliata ) is discussed as a further developed syncytium. So here hypotheses and models for evolutionary processes play a role, which are sometimes even extended to the evolution of the metazoa as a whole . According to such assumptions, syncytial tissues appeared very early in the evolution of the Metazoa, but not through the fusion of cells, but rather arising from a polyenergid, unicellular precursor of the multicellular forms of life (detailed e.g. by Jovan Hadzi , Wolfgang Friedrich Gutmann ). The original multicellular Trichoplax adhaerens , but also some sponges , is sometimes referred to as a living model for this .


  1. Syncytiotrophoblast , on: DocCheck Flexikon
  2. Nadja Podbregar: Secret Helpers - What Function Do Endogenous Retroviruses Have in Us? , on: from November 5, 2010
  3. ^ K. Edlinger: Bilateral symmetry and evolution. In: W. Hahn, P. Waibel (Ed.): Evolutionary Symmetry Theory. Self-organization and dynamic systems. Hirzel Verlag, Stuttgart 1996, pp. 77-89.
  4. J. Hadzi: The evolution of the metazoa. Pergamon Press, Oxford 1963.
  5. K. Bonik, M. Grasshoff, WF Gutmann: The evolution of animal constructions. In: Nature and Museum. 106, 1976, pp. 129-143.