Biology Prefixes and Suffixes: "Cyto-" and "-Cyte"

This image shows two animal cells during cytokinesis (cell division). Cytokinesis occurs after nuclear division (mitosis), which produces two daughter nuclei. The two daughter cells are still connected by a midbody, a transient structure formed from microtubules. Credit: Science Photo Library/Getty Images

The prefix (cyto-) means of or relating to a cell. It comes from the Greek kytos, meaning hollow receptacle.

Biology Prefixes With "Cyto-"

Cytosol (cyto-sol) - semifluid component of a cell's cytoplasm.

Cytoplasm (cyto-plasm) - all of the contents inside of a cell excluding the nucleus. This includes the cytosol and all other cell organelles.

Cytoskeleton (cyto-skeleton) - network of microtubules inside the cell that help give it shape and make cell movement possible.

Cytokinesis (cyto-kinesis) - the division of a cell into two distinct cells. This division occurs at the end of mitosis and meiosis.

Cytotoxic (cyto-toxic) - a substance, agent, or process that kills cells. Cytotoxic T lymphocytes are immune cells that kill cancer cells and virus-infected cells.

Cytochrome (cyto-chrome) - a class of proteins found in cells that contain iron and are important for cellular respiration.

Biology Suffixes With "-Cyte"

The suffix (-cyte) also means of or relating to a cell.

Adipocyte (adipo-cyte) - cells that compose adipose tissue. Adipocytes are also called fat cells because they store fat or triglycerides.

Erythrocyte (erythro-cyte) - red blood cell.

Gametocyte (gameto-cyte) - a cell from which male and female gametes develop by meiosis.

Granulocyte (granulo-cyte) - a type of white blood cell that contains cytoplasmic granules. Granulocytes include neutrophils, eosinophils, and basophils.

Leukocyte (leuko-cyte) - white blood cell.

Lymphocyte (lympho-cyte) - type of immune cell that includes B cells, T cells, and natural killer cells.

Megakaryocyte (mega-karyo-cyte) - large cell in bone marrow that produces platelets.

Thrombocyte (thrombo-cyte) - a type of blood cell known as a platelet.

Oocyte (oo-cyte) - a female gametocyte that develops into an egg cell by meiosis.

More Biology Terms

For more information on understanding biology terms, see:

Understanding Difficult Biology Words

Biology Word Dissections,

Glossary of Cell Biology Terms

Biology Prefixes and Suffixes