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Physiologic cell death, programmed cell death.
Series of molecular events that lead to the non-inflammatory death of a cell, usually followed by areactive phagocytosis.
Apoptosis means programmed or physiological cell death. Apoptosis, opposite to necrosis, is a normal condition in healthy tissue to maintain regular cell turnover. The morphologic characteristics are cell condensation, budding, apoptotic bodies, finally resulting in phagocytosis by adjacent cells. This process occurs without clinical and histological signs of inflammation. Initiation of apoptosis can be triggered by a large variety of molecules and mechanisms with the Fas-Fas ligand and the TNFα-TNFα receptor interaction being the best described and analyzed ones. In the cell, numerous molecules can trigger (e.g. caspases) or inhibit (e.g. mutated tumor suppressors such as p53) apoptosis. Depletion of growth factors or matrix can also initiate apoptosis in the affected