Myocytes of the heart of the newborn rat are mononucleated, whereas myocytes of the heart of growing, maturing rats become predominantly binucleated. This appears to be explained by mitotic division shortly after birth without cell division, i.e., karyokinesis without cytokinesis. Myocytes isolated from hearts of adult guinea pig and pigeon are also predominantly binucleated. Although only about an eighth of the cells of adult rat hearts are myocytes, most of the increase in size of the heart from birth to 6 mth can be accounted for by change in size of these cells.
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