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Am J Med. 2000 Apr 1;108(5):403-15.

Apoptotic mechanisms in acute renal failure.

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Department of Medicine, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, and Central Arkansas Veterans Healthcare System, Little Rock 72205, USA.


It has been generally accepted that a catastrophic breakdown of regulated cellular homeostasis, known as necrosis, is the mode of cellular injury in various forms of acute renal failure. One of the major advances in our understanding of cell death has been the recognition that the pathways traditionally associated with apoptosis as described in the landmark study by Kerr, Wyllie, and Currie in 1972 maybe very critical in the form of cell injury associated with necrosis. The pathway that is followed by the cell varies with both nature and severity of insults and may evolve from an apoptotic to a necrotic form of cell death. It is also likely that there are some common pathways that are shared and regulated in the two modes of cell death. In this review, we first describe evidence for the role of apoptotic pathways in ischemic acute renal failure, and then consider the potential mechanisms that may participate in this model of acute renal tubular injury. We then summarize the current information of apoptotic pathways related to other common causes of acute renal failure including endotoxin-induced, toxic acute renal failure and transplant rejection. A better understanding of the mechanisms of apoptosis could lead to safer and more specific therapeutic interventions for acute renal failure.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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