Cells are Actively Participating in their Environment
Cells are actively participating in their environment by continuous regulation of their structure and functions to adapt changing demands and extracellular stresses. Cells normally maintain a stable state called homeostasis which is defined as the remarkable ways of regulating the internal environment despite the dramatic changes that can occur sometimes in the external environment. If the cells encounter stress they will undergo to adapt which is the ability of cells to achieve a new steady state and preserving viability and function to survive changed environment, but If they exceed the capability of adaptation or if they were exposed to injurious stimulus that the cells won’t be able to adapt to it ,therefore a cell injury occurs and thus either this injury is in its early stages or mild, the injury would be reversible and cells will return to their normal status, however, if the stress is severe or progressive, the injury will be irreversible which would lead to cell death and that death could be necrosis which is the pathological cell death that occurs resulting from the exposure of cells to toxins, several Infections, and trauma. Or it can be Apoptosis which is vital programmed cell death.
Apoptosis, as mentioned previously, is the cell death by a suicide program by degrading their own nuclear DNA and cytoplasmic contents through the enzymes that they activate. Causes of Apoptosis can be in physiologic situations which is a normal phenomenon that serves to eliminate unnecessary cells, such as destruction of cells during embryogenesis. Or it can be involved in pathological conditions which are the elimination of cells that are injured beyond repair, for example, DNA damage due to chemotherapy and radiation.
Apoptosis is characterized by a series of typical morphological and biochemical features. The most notable morphologic changes are cell shrinkage, chromatin condensation, fragmentation of the nucleus into nucleosome-sized fragments through a process called karyorrhexis and formation of cell membrane blebs along with cellular contents that are tightly packed and released as several membrane-bound apoptotic bodies. In the end, these membrane-bound apoptotic bodies and fragments will undergo phagocytosis by phagocytic cells. Biochemical changes in Apoptosis are recognized by releasing an enzyme called caspases, its function is degrading the apoptotic cell’s nucleus and cytoplasm.
To sum up, apoptosis plays an integral part in normal and abnormal biological processes. All living organisms need apoptosis to maintain a constant number of numerous cell populations in tissues. Apoptosis plays an important role in embryonic development. it is also important for cells that are infected by a virus or cells that suffer from DNA damage that occurs due to chemotherapy and radiation. A lack of regulation of apoptosis may cause cancer because one of its function is keeping the total number of the body’s cells under control. All in all, apoptosis is a natural vital process. Carrying out research in apoptosis is important because it leads to the identification of different cell functions and the development of improved diagnostic and curing methods of diseases.