Apoptosis in Cardiac Transplant Rejection

  • Mireia Puig
  • Navneet Narula
  • Jagat Narula


Apoptosis is a genetically programmed process of cell death which is distinct from necrosis and occurs normally in dividing tissues. Such a process is mandatory for tissue development and growth in order to maintain the balance between new and old cells. Contrary to necrosis, apoptosis is an active energy-requiring process and is genetically programmed (Kerr 1972). Ultrastructural characterization of the process of apoptosis reveals that it involves individual cells which separates from the surrounding cells, the nucleus and cytoplasm undergo condensation, nuclear chromatin aggregates in dense masses under the nuclear envelope and intact organelles become closely packed in cytoplasmic protuberances. These protuberances are rounded by membrane and released as apoptotic bodies which are readily removed by professional scavenger or the neighboring cells. The apoptotic bodies are not accompanied by inflammatory cell infiltration because the intracellular contents are not released. The apoptotic bodies in hematoxylin-eosin stained slides are observed as small spherical or ovoid cytoplasmic bodies with pyknotic nuclear remnants (Kerr 1972). Unlike a programmed apoptotic process, necrosis involves clusters of cells; their cellular contents are exteriorized, and an intense inflammatory reaction ensues.


Allograft Rejection Transplant Rejection Cardiac Allograft Heart Lung Transplant Arrhythmogenic Right Ventricular Dysplasia 
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.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2001

Authors and Affiliations

  • Mireia Puig
    • 1
  • Navneet Narula
    • 2
  • Jagat Narula
    • 1
  1. 1.Center for Heart Failure, Transplantation ResearchHahnemann University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Department of RadiologyHahnemann University HospitalPhiladelphiaUSA

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