The central effectors of cell death in the immune system.


Journal Article (Review)

The immune system relies on cell death to maintain lymphoid homeostasis and avoid disease. Recent evidence has indicated that the caspase family of cysteine proteases is a central effector in apoptotic cell death and is absolutely responsible for many of the morphological features of apoptosis. Cell death, however, can occur through caspase-independent and caspase-dependent pathways. In the case of cells that are irreversibly neglected or damaged, death occurs even in the absence of caspase activity. In contrast, healthy cells require caspase activation to undergo cell death induced by surface receptors. This review summarizes the current understanding of these two pathways of cell death in the immune system.

Full Text

Duke Authors

Cited Authors

  • Rathmell, JC; Thompson, CB

Published Date

  • 1999

Published In

Volume / Issue

  • 17 /

Start / End Page

  • 781 - 828

PubMed ID

  • 10358774

Pubmed Central ID

  • 10358774

International Standard Serial Number (ISSN)

  • 0732-0582

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1146/annurev.immunol.17.1.781


  • eng

Conference Location

  • United States