Medical Definition of Karyocyte

  • Medical Author:
    William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR

    Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Karyocyte: Any cell that possesses a nucleus.

A neuron (nerve cell) is a karyocyte; it has a nucleus. A mature erythrocyte (red blood cell) is not a karyocyte; it lacks a nucleus.

The term "karyocyte" is made up of "kary-" from the Greek "karyon" meaning "nut or kernel" + "-cyte" from the Greek "kytos" meaning a "hollow vessel" = a hollow vessel (a cell) containing a nut or kernel (a nucleus).

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Reviewed on 12/11/2018

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