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CVC

CVC: Commonly used abbreviation for a Central Venous Catheter, a catheter (tube) that is passed through a vein to end up in the thoracic (chest) portion of the vena cava (the large vein returning blood to the heart) or in the right atrium of the heart. Central venous catheters have a number of different uses, […]

Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte

Cytotoxic T-lymphocyte: A T cell that is antigen-specific and is able to search out and kill specific types of virus-infected cells. When cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTLs) find cells carrying the viral peptide they are looking for, they induce these cells to secrete proteins that attract nearby macrophages (a type of white blood cells). These macrophages then […]

Cytoskeleton

Cytoskeleton: The scaffolding structure of the cell cytoplasm. The cytoskeleton consists of intermediate filaments, actin filaments, and microtubules.

Cytotoxic

Cytotoxic: Toxic to cells, cell-toxic, cell-killing. Any agent or process that kills cells. Chemotherapy and radiotherapy are forms of cytotoxic therapy. They kill cells. The prefix cyto- denotes a cell. It comes from the Greek kytos meaning hollow, as a cell or container. Toxic is from the Greek toxikon = arrow poison.

cytosis

cytosis: 1. Suffix referring to cells, as in anisocytosis (inequality in the size of red blood cells), elliptocytosis (elliptical red cells), and phagocytosis (ingestion of cells). 2. Suffix connoting an increase in cells, as in leukocytosis (increase in white blood cells) and lymphocytosis (increase in lymphocytes).

Cytosine (C)

Cytosine (C): One member of the G-C (guanine-cytosine) pair of bases in DNA.

Cytometry, flow

Cytometry, flow: Analysis of biological material via detection of the light-absorbing or fluorescing properties of cells, or of subcellular fractions such as chromosomes, as they pass in a narrow stream through a laser beam. Flow cytometry can be used with automated sorting devices to sort successive droplets of a stream into different fractions, depending on […]

Cytomegalovirus (CMV)

A virus that infects 50-85% of adults in the US by age 40 and is also the virus most frequently transmitted to a child before birth. Persons with symptoms have a mononucleosis-like syndrome with prolonged fever and mild hepatitis. Once a person becomes infected, the virus remains alive and usually dormant within that person’s body […]

Cytology

Cytology: The medical and scientific study of cells. Cytology refers to a branch of pathology, the medical specialty that deals with making diagnoses of diseases and conditions through the examination of tissue samples from the body. Cytologic examinations may be performed on body fluids (examples are blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid) or on material that […]

Cytokinesis

Cytokinesis: 1. During cell division, the process that partitions the cellular contents including the chromosomes, cytoplasm, and organelles into the two daughter cells. Cytokinesis occurs just after the segregation of the duplicated genome. 2. In a more limited sense, the partition of a cell’s cytoplasm into daughter cells. See also: Karyokinesis; Mitosis.

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