Acta Med. 2000, 43: 63-68

Apoptosis and Cell Death (Mechanisms, Pharmacology and Promise for the Future)

Ján Frankoa, Mikuláš Pomfyb, Terry Prosbováb

aŠafárik University Hospital, Department of Surgery, Košice, Slovak Republic
bŠafárik University Košice, Faculty of Medicine, Department of Histology and Embryology, Košice, Slovak Republic

Received February 1, 2000
Accepted March 1, 2000

Rapidly growing body of evidence on cell death mechanisms and its disorders during last five years has replaced old paradigms and opened new horizons in medicine. Identification of different morphological and signaling aspects, as well as variances in requirement for energy enabled us to construct a theory of three main types of cell death: necrosis, apoptosis, and lysosomal cell death. Mitochondria, certain oncoproteins such as Bcl-2 family, and special catabolic enzymes participating in cellular demise might serve as targets for pharmacological manipulation. Upregulation or downregulation of programmed cell death has been implicated in ischemic, neurodegenerative, and autoimmune disorders, as well as in oncology and chronic inflammation. This minireview brings a short overview of genesis and development of theories on programmed cell death and apoptosis, summarizes basic relevant facts on apoptotic mechanisms and draws a new hypothesis on possible implication in medicine and surgery.


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