The RNA-binding and -processing protein TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) is heavily linked to the underlying causes and pathology of neurodegenerative diseases such as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and frontotemporal lobar degeneration. In these diseases, TDP-43 is mislocalized, hyperphosphorylated, ubiquitinated, aggregated and cleaved. The importance of TDP-43 cleavage in the disease pathogenesis is still poorly understood. Here we detail the use of D-sorbitol as an exogenous stressor that causes TDP-43 cleavage in HeLa cells, resulting in a 35 kDa truncated product that accumulates in the cytoplasm within one hour of treatment. We confirm that the formation of this 35 kDa cleavage product is mediated by the activation of caspases. Inhibition of caspases blocks the cleavage of TDP-43, but does not prevent the accumulation of full-length protein in the cytoplasm. Using D-sorbitol as a stressor and caspase activator, we also demonstrate that the A90V variant of TDP-43, which lies adjacent to the caspase cleavage site within the nuclear localization sequence of TDP-43, confers partial resistance against caspase-mediated generation of the 35 kDa cleavage product.