From Big Medical Encyclopedia

SINCYTIUM (Greek syn-together, with + kytos a receptacle, here — a cell) — a spatial relationship of otrostchaty cells of nek-ry fabrics in the form of the looped network formed as a result of contact of shoots of the next cells. The typical syncytial structure in the developing organism has mesenchyma (see), in the adult — reticular fabric (see).

Length and thickness of the shoots forming network can vary considerably, the size and a form of cells are various and are defined by length and the direction of shoots. Cells and their shoots are surrounded intercellular substance (see), consisting of amorphous and fibrous components. There was an opinion that the contacting shoots merge among themselves and between them free exchange of cytoplasm is carried out. However, as showed submicroscopy (see), in a zone of contact of shoots there is only a contact of the membranes (cytolemmas) dressing them, i.e. the intercellular contact takes place thanks to what cells are capable to communicate. Thus, S. should be considered as functional cellular system.

In the majority sintsitialno the constructed fabrics between shoots of cells there is a contact of adhesive type owing to what under certain conditions (reactive or inflammatory processes in this zone) cells can lose touch with each other.

Yu. K. Yelets