What is apoptosis programmed cell death and its clinical implications?

1 Answer
Nov 14, 2016

Apoptosis is a process of programmed cell death that occurs in multicellular organisms.


Apoptosis is initiated by extra cellular signals in which a complex machinery is activated to start a cascade of events ultimately leading to the degradation of nuclear DNA and dismantling of the cell.

Biochemical events lead to characteristic cell changes including cell shrinkage, nuclear fragmentation, chromatin condensation , chromosomal DNA fragmentation and global m RNA.

The apoptosis pathway is more or less sequential in nature , removing or modifying one component leads to an effect in another.
In a living being this may have a disastrous effect , often in the form of disease or disorder. This results in a cell that lives past its use - by - date and is able to replicate and pass on any faulty machinery to its progeny increasing the likelihood of the cell becoming cancerous or diseased

Clinical implications include inflammation, cancer and neurodegradation.

Inhibition of apoptosis can result in a number of cancer, autoimmune diseases, inflammatory disease and viral infection.