Various methods available for detection of apoptotic cells--a review

Indian J Cancer. Jul-Sep 2013;50(3):274-83. doi: 10.4103/0019-509X.118720.


Apoptosis is a process of programmed cell death occurring in multicellular organisms in whom development, maintenance and sculpturing organs and tissues. Taken together, apoptotic processes are of widespread biological significance; being involved in e.g. development, differentiation, proliferation/homoeostasis, regulation and function of the immune system and in the removal of defected harmful cells. Dys regulation of apoptosis can play a primary or secondary role leading to cancer whereas excessive apoptosis contributes to neuro degeneration, autoimmunity, AIDS, and ischemia. Gaining insight into the techniques for detecting apoptotic cells will allow the development of more effective, higher specific and therefore better-tolerable therapeutic approaches. The goal of this review article is to provide a general overview of current knowledge, on the various technical approaches for detecting apoptotic cells.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • Comet Assay / methods
  • DNA Fragmentation
  • Electrophoresis / methods
  • Flow Cytometry / methods
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry / methods
  • In Situ Nick-End Labeling / methods
  • Microscopy / methods