Figure 1 - Different types of cell fusion events and their cellular products.

From the following article

Inflammation as a matchmaker: revisiting cell fusion

Ilyas Singec & Evan Y. Snyder

Nature Cell Biology 10, 503 - 505 (2008)


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(a) Fusion between cells of the same type is called a homotypic cell fusion (for example, osteoclasts and myofibres). A synkaryon is produced by the merging of the two nuclei. In the absence of nuclear fusion, the cell is described as a binucleated heterokaryon. (b) Fusion between cells of different types is called a heterotypic cell fusion (for example, BMDCs with parenchymatous organs). The merger of the two nuclei or the absence of such fusion is also termed, as above, synkaryons and binucleated heterokaryons, respectively.