UNIT 12.8 Measurement of Cell Death in Mammalian Cells

  1. Brian S. Cummings,
  2. Rick G. Schnellmann

Published Online: 1 SEP 2004

DOI: 10.1002/0471141755.ph1208s25

Current Protocols in Pharmacology

Current Protocols in Pharmacology

How to Cite

Cummings, B. S. and Schnellmann, R. G. 2004. Measurement of Cell Death in Mammalian Cells. Current Protocols in Pharmacology. 25:12.8:12.8.1–12.8.22.

Author Information

  1. Medical University of South Carolina, Charleston, South Carolina

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 SEP 2004
  2. Published Print: JUN 2004

This is not the most recent version of the article. View current version (1 MAR 2012)


This unit presents methods used to assess cell death in mammalian cells. The unit is divided into five sections: (1) a brief overview of cytotoxicity and pathways of cell death, (2) an improved method to measure cell death using lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release as a marker of membrane integrity, (3) a flow cytometry method that simultaneously measures two types of cell death, oncosis and apoptosis, (4) use of nuclear morphology to assess apoptosis and oncosis, and (5) a brief discussion of the use of cytotoxicity assays to determine the mechanisms of cell death.