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apoptosis

play
noun ap·o·pto·sis \ˌa-pəp-ˈtō-səs, -pə-ˈtō-\

Definition of apoptosis

plural ap·o·pto·sesplay \-ˌsēz\

  1. :  a genetically directed process of cell self-destruction that is marked by the fragmentation of nuclear DNA, is activated either by the presence of a stimulus or removal of a suppressing agent or stimulus, and is a normal physiological process eliminating DNA-damaged, superfluous, or unwanted cells —called also programmed cell death

ap·o·pto·tic play \-ˈtä-tik\ adjective


Origin of apoptosis

New Latin, from Greek apoptōsis a falling off, from apopiptein to fall off, from apo- + piptein to fall — more at feather


First Known Use: 1972


Medical Dictionary

apoptosis

noun ap·o·pto·sis \ˌa-pəp-ˈtō-səs, -pə-ˈtō-\

Medical Definition of apoptosis

plural ap·o·pto·ses \-ˌsēz\play

  1. :  a genetically determined process of cell self-destruction that is marked by the fragmentation of nuclear DNA, is activated either by the presence of a stimulus or by the removal of a stimulus or suppressing agent, is a normal physiological process eliminating DNA-damaged, superfluous, or unwanted cells (as immune cells targeted against the self in the development of self-tolerance or larval cells in amphibians undergoing metamorphosis), and when halted (as by genetic mutation) may result in uncontrolled cell growth and tumor formation—called also programmed cell death

  2. ap·o·pto·tic \-ˈtät-ik\play adjective




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