Programmed Necrosis: A “New” Cell Death Outcome for Injured Adult Neurons?



Historically, cell death has been divided into two generic categories: apoptosis, which requires energy and in which the cell plays an active role, and necrosis, which occurs accidentally, does not require energy consumption and is considered as a passive, uncontrolled cell death program. Among the conceptually opposite cell death forms, apoptosis is the best understood. This death program has been defined as developmentally programmed and ordered cellular response. Apoptosis is initiated by cell rounding and subsequent detachment from the surrounding cells. Chromatin condenses into “crescent-like” forms abutting the inner nuclear membrane. Plasma membrane convolutes and gives rise to characteristic vesicles containing cellular organelles and cytoplasm, known as the “apoptotic bodies.” Apoptosis is generally not accompanied by inflammation since macrophages or neighbouring cells engulf the formed apoptotic bodies before the loss of plasma membrane integrity (Kerr et al. 1972). In contrast to apoptosis, necrosis is characterized by disruption of the plasma membrane with a subsequent water influx and leakage of cell content to the surroundings. Cell death by necrosis can elicit an inflammatory response (Edinger and Thompson 2004).


Calpain Activation Genetic Ablation Mitochondrial Outer Membrane Permeabilization Excitotoxic Cell Death Excitotoxic Neuronal Death 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We apologize to colleagues whose original work we could not cite owing to limitations of space. The authors wish to thank Marcela Segade for invaluable help. Our research is supported by institutional grants from Institut Pasteur and CNRS and by specific grants from Ligue Contre le Cancer and Association pour la Recherche sur le Cancer (ARC; contract n° 4043) to Santos A. Susin and joint INSERM/FRSQ cooperation programme to Slavica Krantic (France) and Remi Quirion (Canada).


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Institut de Neurobiologie de la Méditerranée (INMED)/U29 INSERMParc Scientifique de LuminyMarseilleFrance
  2. 2.INSERM, U872, Team 19, Centre de Recherche des CordeliersParisFrance
  3. 3.France Université Pierre et Marie Curie-Paris 6, UMRS 872ParisFrance
  4. 4.France Université Paris Descartes, UMRS 872ParisFrance

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