Definition of Apoptosis

An active process of selective destruction of differentiated cells in multicellular organisms, apoptosis is one of two mechanisms by which cell death occurs (the other being necrosis, a pathological process). Important in ontogenesis, tumorigenesis, tissue turnover, lymphocyte selection and function, hormone-induced atrophy, etc., it serves as a balance to mitosis in regulating the size of animal tissues and in mediating pathologic processes associated with tumor growth. Apoptosis is responsible for physiological deletion of cells and appears to be intrinsically programmed. It is characterized by distinctive morphologic changes in the nucleus and cytoplasm, including chromatin cleavage at regularly spaced sites and endonucleolytic cleavage of genomic DNA (DNA fragmentation) at internucleosomal sites.

Apoptosis is from the group

Cell Death Process

Other Names for Apoptosis

Programmed Cell Death


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Topics #Apoptosis PCD Programmed Cell Death apoptosis