Sep 29, 2021

Deeper insights into cell death and survival

Posted by in category: biotech/medical

The intricate balance between cell death and survival is essential for normal development and for preventing diseases such as cancer and autoimmunity.

Cell death is not always detrimental. In fact, cell death is essential for normal development and for maintaining tissue homeostasis. All tissues must be able to tightly control cell numbers and protect themselves from rogue or unwanted cells that could disrupt homeostasis. In self renewing tissues, such as the skin or bone marrow, cell death is vital to make room for the many new cells every day. Cell death also plays a critical role in removing damaged, dysfunctional or potentially dangerous cells such as tumour cells and cells infected by viruses.

However, when this normal process goes awry it can have dire consequences. Impaired survival, excessive cell death and the loss of vital cells within healthy tissues is known to contribute to the development and progression of many conditions including many degenerative and autoimmune diseases. Conversely, too little cell death may promote the survival and accumulation of abnormal cells that can give rise to tumour formation and cancer. Understanding the intricate balance between cell death and cell survival in disease is hugely important. It not only gives an insight into the pathogenesis of a disease but may provide clues on how the disease can be treated.

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