Morphological and biochemical characterization and analysis of apoptosis

R. Todd Allen, William J. Hunter, Devendra K. Agrawal

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

408 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death serving physiologic and homeostatic functions. However, recent evidence implicating apoptosis in the etiology and pathophysiology of known human diseases, such as heart diseases, cancer, AIDS, and neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases are continually surfacing. This has spawned the need for identifying which methods are the most effective and well accepted to decipher its presence in a variety of research settings. We have therefore detailed the morphology and biochemical features of apoptotic cell death, with an emphasis on discriminating it from necrosis. In addition, we describe specific and selective techniques which are optimal to target hallmark apoptotic features, such as microscopy, Annexin V labeling, in situ nick-end labeling (TUNEL), and DNA fragmentation analysis by gel electrophoresis and ELISA for oligonucleosome-sized DNA. The advantages and disadvantages of each technique are discussed, as well as their experimental importance relative to one another. The methods have been described in a stepwise fashion, and can readily be applied in the majority of cell systems. Whether working on the tissue or single cell level, these methods are highly effective in qualifying and quantifying apoptosis. The application of these methods in conjunction with molecular techniques can further delineate the underlying mechanisms of apoptosis.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)215-228
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods
Volume37
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1997

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Apoptosis
In Situ Nick-End Labeling
Cell death
Labeling
Cell Death
Heart Neoplasms
Hard facing
Annexin A5
DNA
DNA Fragmentation
Electrophoresis
Neurodegenerative Diseases
Autoimmune Diseases
Microscopy
Heart Diseases
Microscopic examination
Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome
Necrosis
Gels
Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pharmacology
  • Toxicology

Cite this

Morphological and biochemical characterization and analysis of apoptosis. / Allen, R. Todd; Hunter, William J.; Agrawal, Devendra K.

In: Journal of Pharmacological and Toxicological Methods, Vol. 37, No. 4, 06.1997, p. 215-228.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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