Apoptosis is a process of programmed cell death that occurs in multicellular organisms. Biochemical events lead to characteristic cell changes (morphology) include blebbing, cell shrinkage, nuclear fragmentation, chromatin condensation, chromosomal DNA fragmentation, and global mRNA decay. Adult humans have 50 to 70 billion cells die daily from apoptosis.
Unlike necrosis, apoptosis produces cell fragments called apoptotic bodies that phagocytic cells are able to engulf and quickly remove before the contents of the cell can spill out onto surrounding cells and cause damage the way necrotic cells do.
Apoptosis from Ancient Greek ἀπόπτωσις “falling off”.
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