Corpse clearance defines the meaning of cell death

Nature. 2000 Oct 12;407(6805):784-8. doi: 10.1038/35037722.


While philosophers seek the meaning of life, cell biologists are becoming ever more interested in the meaning of death. Apoptosis marks unwanted cells with 'eat me' signals that direct recognition, engulfment and degradation by phagocytes. Far from being the end of the story, these clearance events allow scavenger cells to confer meaning upon cell death. But if the phagocytic 'spin doctors' receive or transmit the wrong messages, trouble ensues.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Apoptosis*
  • Forecasting
  • Humans
  • Immunity / physiology
  • Inflammation
  • Macrophages / physiology
  • Membrane Lipids / physiology
  • Phagocytes / physiology*
  • Phagocytosis


  • Membrane Lipids