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:
- The fibers of the striated skeletal muscles , whereby a muscle consists of many muscle fibers (syncytia). They are created by the fusion of the muscle-building cells ( myoblasts ).
- The early stages of superficial furrowing in insect eggs.
- The neodermis of tapeworms ( Cestoda ), roundworms ( Nematoda ) and suction worms ( Trematoda ).
- The early development stage of the endosperm , known as nuclear , of most flowering plants .
- The sieve tubes in the vascular tissue of many bed covers.
- The siphonal algae ( Caulerpa , Acetabularia and others).
- The yoke mushrooms and the egg mushrooms .
- The plasmodia of the slime mold .
- The giant amoeba of the genus Chaos .
- From the human respiratory syncytial virus infected ciliated cells in apes (ie incl. Humans)
- The syncytiotrophoblast , part of the placenta in higher mammals (placentalia).
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 .
- Syncytiotrophoblast , on: DocCheck Flexikon
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- J. Hadzi: The evolution of the metazoa. Pergamon Press, Oxford 1963.
- K. Bonik, M. Grasshoff, WF Gutmann: The evolution of animal constructions. In: Nature and Museum. 106, 1976, pp. 129-143.