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Apoptotic Pathways In Prostate Cancer

S. Denmeade, B. Tombal, J. Isaacs
Published 2001 · Biology

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Publisher Summary The chapter discusses the apoptotic pathways in prostate cancer. Programmed cell death (PCD)/apoptosis is a widespread phenomenon occurring normally at different stages of morphogenesis, growth and development, and in normal turnover in adult tissue. Under these physiologic conditions, PCD is initiated in specific cell types by both endogenous tissue-specific agents (generally hormones) and exogenous cell-damaging treatments such as radiation, chemicals and viruses. Endogenous activation of PCD can occur either due to the positive presence of a tissue-specific inducer, such as the induction of death in immature thymocytes by glucocorticoids or due to the negative lack of a tissue-specific repressor, such as induction of death of prostatic glandular cells by androgen ablation. The morphologic pathway for PCD is rather stereotypical and provides the name apoptosis to distinguish this process form necrotic cell death. Apoptosis is the orderly and characteristic sequence of structural changes resulting in the programmed death of the cell. The temporal sequence of events of apoptosis comprise chromatin aggregation, nuclear and cytoplasmic condensation, and eventual fragmentation of the dying cell into a cluster of membrane-bound segments, which often contain morphologically intact organelles. These apoptotic bodies are rapidly recognized, phagocytized, and digested by either macrophages or adjacent epithelial cells.
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