Table 7.19.1 Morphological Criteria for Identification of Apoptosis or Necrosis


Reduced cell size, convoluted shape Plasma membrane undulations

("blebbing," "budding") Chromatin condensation (DNA

hyperchromicity) Loss of the structural features of the nucleus

(smooth, planate appearance) Nuclear fragmentation (karyorrhexis)

Presence of apoptotic bodies

Dilatation of the endoplasmic reticulum Relatively unchanged cell organelles Shedding of apoptotic bodies Phagocytosis of the cell remnants Cell detachment from tissue culture flasks


Cell and nuclear swelling Patchy chromatin condensation

Swelling of mitochondria

Vacuolization in cytoplasm

Plasma membrane rupture

("ghost-like" appearance of lysed cells) Dissolution of nuclear chromatin

(karyolysis) Attraction of inflammatory cells

Flow Cytometry of Apoptosis

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