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Tuesday 5 April 2011


Definition: Necroptosis is a programmed form of necrosis, or inflammatory cell death.

Conventionally, necrosis is associated with unprogrammed cell death resulting from cellular damage or infiltration by pathogens, in contrast to orderly, programmed cell death via apoptosis.

The discovery of necroptosis showed that cells can execute necrosis in a programmed fashion and that apoptosis is not always preferable to necrotic cell death.

Furthermore, the immunogenic nature of necroptosis favors its use in certain circumstances, such as aiding targeting of pathogens by the immune system.

Necroptosis is well defined as a viral defense mechanism, allowing the cell to undergo “cellular suicide” in a caspase-independent fashion in the presence of viral caspase inhibitors.

In addition to being a response to disease, necroptosis has also been characterized as a component of inflammatory diseases such as Crohn disease , pancreatitis , and myocardial infarction .

See also

- cell death
- cell necrosis
- apoptosis


- Cell death: A killer puts a stop on necroptosis. Wrighton KH. Nat Rev Mol Cell Biol. 2011 Mar 30. PMID: 21448226