"How Do Cardiomyocytes Die?" Apoptosis and Autophagic Cell Death in Cardiac Myocytes

Sanjay Kunapuli, Salvatore Rosanio, Ernst R. Schwarz

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

65 Scopus citations


Background: Cell death constitutes one of the key events in biology. Historically, apoptosis and necrosis have been considered to represent the 2 fundamental forms of cell death. Apoptosis is a tightly regulated, energy-dependent process in which cell death follows a programmed set of events. Necrosis refers to the sum of degenerative changes that follow any type of cell death. Methods and Results: The role of apoptosis in development of ischemic heart disease, hypertensive heart disease, and end-stage heart failure has been well documented. Recent evidence suggests the potential role of a third mechanism of cell death, autophagy, in loss of cardiac myocytes. Autophagic cell death has been recently documented in myocardial cells from hypertrophied, failing, and hibernating myocardium. Conclusion: In this review, we will list the basic mechanisms of apoptosis and autophagic cell death and examine the recent developments in apoptosis and autophagic cell death as it pertains to cardiovascular disease.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)381-391
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Cardiac Failure
Issue number5
StatePublished - Jun 1 2006

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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