Giant cell

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In medicine and pathology, giant cells (also called multinucleated giant cells) are "multinucleated masses produced by the fusion of many cells; often associated with viral infections. In AIDS, they are induced when the envelope glycoprotein of the HIV virus binds to the CD4 antigen of uninfected neighboring T4 cells. The resulting syncytium leads to cell death and thus may account for the cytopathic effect of the virus."[1]

Classification

  • Langhans giant cells are "multinucleated cells (fused macrophages) seen in granulomatous inflammations such as tuberculosis, syphilis, sarcoidosis, and deep fungal infections. They resemble foreign-body giant cells but Langhans giant cells contain less chromatin and their nuclei are arranged peripherally in a horseshoe-shaped pattern. Langhans giant cells occur frequently in delayed hypersensitivity."[2]
  • Foreign-body giant cells are "multinucleated cells (fused macrophages), characteristic of granulomatous inflammation, which form around exogenous material in the skin. They are similar in appearance to Langhans giant cells, but foreign-body giant cells have more abundant chromatin and their nuclei are scattered in an irregular pattern in the cytoplasm."[3]

References

  1. Anonymous (2015), Giant cell (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  2. Anonymous (2015), Langhans giant cells (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.
  3. Anonymous (2015), Foreign-body giant cells (English). Medical Subject Headings. U.S. National Library of Medicine.