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Apoptosis vs. Necrosis: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on October 28, 2023
Apoptosis refers to programmed cell death; Necrosis referts to uncontrolled cell death.

Key Differences

Apoptosis is an orchestrated cellular process resulting in the systematic dismantling of cellular components without provoking inflammation. It's a vital component of various processes including normal cell turnover, proper development and functioning of the immune system, hormone-dependent atrophy, embryonic development, and chemical-induced cell death.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
Necrosis, in contrast, often results from acute injury or trauma, leading to the uncontrolled rupture of cell membranes and release of cellular contents. This process often triggers an inflammatory response and can be detrimental to surrounding tissues.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
Apoptosis is marked by cellular shrinkage, chromatin condensation, and the formation of apoptotic bodies that are phagocytosed. The integrity of the plasma membrane is preserved during early stages, preventing inflammatory response.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023
Conversely, necrosis is characterized by swelling of the cell, rupture of the plasma membrane, and subsequent release of intracellular contents into the extracellular space, which can incite inflammation.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023
In apoptosis, the cellular energy (ATP) is required to drive the process, signifying a controlled and energy-dependent process.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023
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Necrosis, however, is typically associated with a loss of cellular energy and is often a result of pathological conditions such as ischemia, toxins, or trauma.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Comparison Chart

Trigger

Controlled, programmed
Uncontrolled, often due to injury
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Membrane Integrity

Maintained initially
Compromised, leading to leakage
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Inflammatory Response

Generally none
Often present
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Cellular Appearance

Shrinkage, fragmentation
Swelling, rupture
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023
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Energy Requirement

Requires ATP
Associated with energy loss
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

Apoptosis and Necrosis Definitions

Apoptosis

Controlled cellular dismantling.
Apoptosis maintains tissue homeostasis.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Necrosis

Pathological cell destruction.
Bacterial toxins can induce necrosis in cells.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Apoptosis

Non-inflammatory cell elimination.
Apoptosis occurs without triggering inflammation.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

Necrosis

Premature cell death from damage.
Necrosis is often seen in tissues after severe burns.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 27, 2023

Apoptosis

Genetically programmed cell death.
Apoptosis is crucial during embryonic development.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Necrosis

Unregulated cell disintegration.
Necrosis resulted from the oxygen deprivation.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Apoptosis

Cell suicide.
Cancer therapy aims to induce apoptosis in malignant cells.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 27, 2023

Necrosis

Inflammation-causing cell death.
Necrosis in the liver can cause a severe inflammatory response.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

Apoptosis

Cellular self-destruction.
UV radiation can trigger apoptosis in skin cells.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

Necrosis

Trauma-induced cell demise.
Physical injury to the muscle led to necrosis.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023

Apoptosis

A natural process of self-destruction by degradative enzymes in certain cells, such as epithelial cells and erythrocytes, that are genetically programmed to have a limited lifespan or are damaged, as by irradiation or toxic drugs. Also called programmed cell death.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 10, 2020

Necrosis

Death of cells through injury or disease, especially in a localized area of a tissue or organ.
Sumera Saeed
Dec 10, 2020

FAQs

How is apoptosis different from necrosis in terms of cellular contents?

In apoptosis, cellular contents are contained; in necrosis, they leak out.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Can necrosis lead to inflammation?

Yes, necrosis often triggers an inflammatory response.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023

What is apoptosis?

Apoptosis is the process of programmed cell death in organisms.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Does apoptosis cause inflammation?

Generally, no. Apoptosis is a non-inflammatory process.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023

What is necrosis?

Necrosis is uncontrolled cell death typically due to injury or disease.
Sawaira Riaz
Oct 27, 2023

What are the visible signs of necrosis?

Cell swelling and rupture are common signs of necrosis.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

Are apoptotic cells removed from the body?

Yes, they are typically engulfed and removed by phagocytes.
Janet White
Oct 27, 2023

What happens to necrotic tissue?

Necrotic tissue often needs to be removed or can lead to further damage.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

Does necrosis occur naturally in the body?

Necrosis usually results from pathological conditions, not natural processes.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

What causes necrosis?

Necrosis is often caused by injury, toxins, or lack of oxygen.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Is necrosis always harmful?

Necrosis is generally detrimental, leading to tissue damage.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023

How does the immune system respond to necrosis?

Necrosis often provokes an immune response due to inflammation.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Can apoptosis be triggered artificially?

Yes, certain therapies aim to induce apoptosis in cancer cells.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

Why is apoptosis important?

Apoptosis is essential for normal development and maintaining cellular balance.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

How does the immune system respond to apoptosis?

The immune system usually doesn't respond due to the non-inflammatory nature of apoptosis.
Harlon Moss
Oct 27, 2023

Can apoptosis be harmful?

While typically beneficial, excessive apoptosis can lead to diseases.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

Can cells recover from necrosis?

Recovery from necrosis is generally not possible due to extensive damage.
Janet White
Oct 27, 2023

Is energy required for apoptosis?

Yes, apoptosis is an energy-dependent process.
Sumera Saeed
Oct 27, 2023

Is necrosis an energy-dependent process?

No, necrosis often occurs due to energy loss.
Sara Rehman
Oct 27, 2023

What happens to cells during apoptosis?

During apoptosis, cells shrink and are systematically dismantled.
Aimie Carlson
Oct 27, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Sawaira Riaz
Sawaira is a dedicated content editor at difference.wiki, where she meticulously refines articles to ensure clarity and accuracy. With a keen eye for detail, she upholds the site's commitment to delivering insightful and precise content.

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