The main difference between apoptosis and autolysis is that apoptosis is a type of programmed cell death, whereas autolysis is a form of self-digestion of cells through the action of their own enzymes. Moreover, apoptosis occurs through a series of biochemical processes linked with morphological changes while autolysis is a biological process which occurs as a result of enzymatic action.
Apoptosis and autolysis are two types of cellular processes responsible for cell death. Generally, apoptosis occurs in multicellular organisms, while autolysis occurs in both multicellular ad unicellular organisms.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Apoptosis
– Definition, Process, Importance
2. What is Autolysis
– Definition, Process, Importance
3. What are the Similarities Between Apoptosis and Autolysis
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Apoptosis and Autolysis
– Comparison of Key Differences
Apoptosis, Autolysis, Cell Death, Cell Injury, Lysosomes, Programmed Cell Death (PCD)
What is Apoptosis
Apoptosis is a process of programmed cell death (PCD), which consists of a sequence of events leading to the death of the cell. Generally, it plays a key role in the development of the organism. It is also important for the normal process of cell ageing. Therefore, it is a part of the regular physiological activity of many healthy tissues of multicellular organisms. The other types of programmed cell death include autophagy, ferroptosis, and necroptosis.
Furthermore, apoptosis occurs through a series of characteristic morphological changes in the cell. They occur due to different biochemical events of the process of apoptosis. Basically, these changes include chromatin aggregation, cytoplasmic and nuclei condensation, and the partition of the cytoplasm and nucleus into membrane-bound vesicles called apoptotic bodies. Generally, these apoptotic bodies contain intact ribosomes, mitochondria, and nuclear material. Macrophages or adjacent epithelial cells recognize the apoptotic bodies to destroy them by phagocytosis. Due to the efficient removal of apoptotic cells by phagocytosis, the immune system of the body does not elicit an inflammatory response.
What is Autolysis
Autolysis is the uncontrolled and unintentional process of cell death, initiating in response to cell injury or infection. It is also a partial contributor to the necrotic cell death in living tissues. Moreover, it is a type of self-digestion as enzymes released by the breakdown of lysosomes are responsible for the digestion of the cell. Therefore, the cell does not undergo any morphological changes in the process of cell death.
Moreover, autolysis has many applications in different areas. Generally, autolytic debridement, which is the deposition of the broken down and liquified products of dead tissue as a wound dressing, is a helpful process in wound healing. Autolyzed yeast is used as a flavour enhancer in the food industry. Also, in yeast extraction, yeast cells are broken down by the addition of salt.
Similarities Between Apoptosis and Autolysis
- Apoptosis and autolysis are two types of cellular processes responsible for cell death.
- Both are important for the maintenance of a healthy cell population.
Difference Between Apoptosis and Autolysis
Apoptosis refers to the death of cells, occurring as a normal and controlled part of an organism’s growth or development, while autolysis refers to the destruction of cells or tissues by their own enzymes, especially those released by lysosomes.
Type of Process
Moreover, apoptosis is a controlled and intentional process, while autolysis is an uncontrolled and unintentional process.
Significance of the Process
Apoptosis occurs through a series of biochemical processes linked with morphological changes while autolysis is a biological process which occurs as a result of enzymatic action.
Cells undergo changes such as blebbing, cell shrinkage, nuclear fragmentation, chromatin condensation, chromosomal DNA fragmentation, and global mRNA decay during apoptosis while lysosomal enzymes are responsible for autolysis.
While apoptosis can occur in healthy tissues, autolysis occurs in healthy cells.
Apoptosis occurs in the body all the times while autolysis occurs in response to an injury or infection.
Type of Organisms
Furthermore, apoptosis occurs in multicellular organisms, while autolysis occurs in both multicellular ad unicellular organisms.
Apoptosis is the programmed cell death, which is an intentional and highly regulated process. Moreover, it occurs through a series of biochemical changes, which cause different morphological changes in the cell. Apoptosis occurs all the time in the body of multicellular organisms. Autolysis, on the other hand, is an uncontrolled and unintentional process, which results in cell death. Generally, it occurs in response to an injury or infection. Enzymes in lysosomes are also responsible for autolysis. Therefore, it is a type of self-digestion. Hence, the main difference between apoptosis and autolysis is the type of process.
1. Elmore, Susan. “Apoptosis: a review of programmed cell death.” Toxicologic pathology vol. 35,4 (2007): 495-516. doi:10.1080/01926230701320337
2. Friedl, Sarah. “What Is Autolysis? – Definition & Histology.” Study.com. Available Here.