Apoptosis and Necrosis

Difference between Apoptosis and Necrosis

We all are aware that whoever is born will die some day. This principle is also applied to fundamental form of life i.e. cells. Death of cells is essential for maintaining the cell population. The death of cells can be natural or could be caused by unfavourable conditions or injury. Apoptosis and Necrosis are two different mechanism that leads to death.

Apoptosis is called as programmed cell death where cell follows a step by step protocol. Whereas the necrosis is caused by physical (radiation/heat) or chemical agent (toxins) or unfavourable conditions (anaerobic conditions). Such conditions may cause unexpected and unplanned death of the cell.

It is programmed cell deathIt is premature and unplanned death
It is natural processIt is due to unfavorable and external conditions
It is caused by physiological processIt is caused by pathological condition
It is regulated process It is unregulated process
It does not cause inflammationIt cause local inflammation
In Apoptosis, the cytoplasm is shrink, Nucleus is condensed and chromatin is aggregated, DNA is fragmentedIn Necrosis, the cell swells causing its lysis followed by degradation of DNA
It is caspases dependent processIt is caspases independent process
It is occurred in individual cellIt occurs in group of cells
Apoptosis controls the cells’ populationIt stimulate immune system

Difference between Apoptosis and Necrosis




Kindt, T., Goldsby, R., Osborne, B., Kuby, J. and Kuby, J., 2007. Kuby immunology. New York: W.H. Freeman.

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