Apoptosis as a Stress Response

Lessons from an Insect Virus
  • Rollie J. Clem


Cells have evolved a number of protective mechanisms to help them withstand stressful external stimuli such as heat, toxic chemicals, anoxia, and infection by microorganisms. Despite these protective responses, if the level of stress is too great, cell death results. Kerr et al. (1972) were the first to emphasize the differences between cell death directed by the cell, or programmed cell death, and cell death beyond the control of the cell, or necrotic cell death. Whether the death of a cell is programmed or necrotic often depends on the severity of the stress signal. Cells have evolved the ability to respond to many physiological stimuli by assisting in their own death. However, if the level of stress is so great that it overwhelms the ability of the cell to function, necrosis is often the result.


Programme Cell Death Spinal Muscular Atrophy Ring Finger Nuclear Polyhedrosis Virus Occlusion Body 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1997

Authors and Affiliations

  • Rollie J. Clem
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Molecular Microbiology and ImmunologyThe Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public HealthBaltimoreUSA

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