Necrosis Cell Death

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Updated: Mar 28, 2022
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Necrosis is classified as a disorganized cell death process in response to disease, cell injury, or lack of sufficient blood supply. Changes within the structure that indicate possible necrosis include “dense clumping and progressive disruption both genetic material and of plasma and organelle membranes (Understanding Pathophysiology).” Forms of necrosis include coagulative necrosis due to chemical injury and that affect the “heart, kidney, and adrenal glands (Understanding Pathophysiology)”. Liquefactive necrosis caused by ischemic injuries to brain tissue. Caseous necrosis caused by tuberculous pulmonary infections. Lastly, fatty necrosis that occurs in the “breasts, pancreas, and other abdominal structures” due to cellular dissolution.

Apoptosis is a controlled response to both normal and pathologic changes that occur within the body. Examples of pathologic changes that require apoptosis are cell injury, misfolded proteins, viral infections, and tissue duct obstructions. The process of apoptosis includes a controlled initiation and execution that is regulated by proteases called caspases. Once caspases are initiated, it begins a “suicide cascade” that kills cells neatly. As cell death occurs, chemicals are released to signal phagocytes to eliminate the remains of the dead cells. These phagocytes also eliminate the chance of inflammation in surrounding tissues, unlike necrosis. If apoptosis occurs less than it is required, it could lead to the survival abnormal or mutated cells.

Although both necrosis and apoptosis are related to cell death, necrosis is a disorganized process that occurs because of multiple factors and causes surrounding tissues to become inflamed due to the leakage of cell contents. On the other hand, apoptosis is a normal, organized process that occurs to regulate growth and development by eliminating excessive proliferation. It is important to understand both processes of necrosis and apoptosis because they are significant in determining whether the body is operating under normal circumstances or if something within the body is occurring that is potentially harmful.

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Necrosis Cell Death. (2019, Feb 22). Retrieved from