Standard Article

Cell Death and Apoptosis

Molecular and Cellular Aspects of Toxicology

  1. Sidhartha D. Ray PhD, FACN1,
  2. George B. Corcoran PhD, FAT2

Published Online: 15 DEC 2009

DOI: 10.1002/9780470744307.gat015

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

General, Applied and Systems Toxicology

How to Cite

Ray, S. D. and Corcoran, G. B. 2009. Cell Death and Apoptosis. General, Applied and Systems Toxicology. .

Author Information

  1. 1

    Long Island University, Department of Pharmaceutical Science, Arnold and Marie Schwartz College of Pharmacy and Health Science, Brooklyn, New York, USA

  2. 2

    Wayne State University, Department of Pharmaceutical Sciences, Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy Health Sciences, Detroit, Michigan, USA

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 15 DEC 2009


Toxicants cause cell death via apoptosis, necrosis and apocrosis. The last decade of the twentieth century and the first decade of the new millennium witnessed over one million reports exploring the occurrence of apoptosis, its mechanisms, and therapeutic implications. Cooperative efforts of every compartment of the cell, as well as various micro and macromolecules, orchestrate this form of cell death. Apoptosis has captured the attention of scientists because retrospective analyses of the mechanisms of human disease show that apoptotic factors either contribute to disease development or, in large measure, account for it. Although apoptosis has been viewed as diametrically opposed to necrotic cell death, they share a number of key features in common. Apoptosis can be viewed as versatile and even malleable, whereas other forms of cell death are not; apoptosis signaling pathways are sharply defined but others are not. This chapter discusses the overall mechanistic frameworks that come under the influence of drugs, chemicals, and stressors, the initiation and progression of apoptosis during organ toxicity, and an up-to-date account of the morphological, biochemical, genetic and molecular events that characterize apoptosis. Emphasis has been placed upon insights from both in vivo and in vitro models. This chapter is intended to serve a resource that presents the current fundamentals of apoptosis and its scientific bases in this significant and rapidly evolving field.


  • acetaminophen;
  • antioxidant responsive element;
  • apoptosis;
  • ASK1;
  • necrosis;
  • Bcl-2;
  • Bcl-xL;
  • Bad;
  • Bax;
  • Bim;
  • Bid;
  • Bak;
  • tBid;
  • FADD;
  • CARD;
  • PUMA;
  • NEMO;
  • JNK;
  • apoptosome;
  • TNF superfamily;
  • TNFR;
  • TRAF2;
  • DISC;
  • drug-induced apoptosis;
  • chemical-induced apoptosis;
  • genetic regulation of apoptosis;
  • death domain;
  • apoptosis in vivo;
  • apoptosis in vitro;
  • signalosome;
  • inflammasome;
  • apoptosis signaling pathways;
  • intrinsic signaling pathway;
  • extrinsic signaling pathway;
  • mitochondria;
  • PKC;
  • IKK;
  • NFκB;
  • oxidative stress;
  • cell death;
  • caspase;
  • paracetamol;
  • dimethylnitrosamine;
  • p53;
  • c-Myc;
  • phagocytosis;
  • apocrosis;
  • DNA fragmentation;
  • apoptotic bodies