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Cell Tissue Res. 2000 Jul;301(1):19-31.

Detection of apoptosis in tissue sections.

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Brain Research Institute, Department of Neuroimmunology, Vienna, Austria.


During the last few years, detection of apoptosis has evolved from a predominantly morphological basis to the use of ever more specific techniques. The methods widely used to visualize DNA fragmentation in tissue sections are now supplemented by a variety of specific antisera against components of the cell death pathways. Essential requirements for apoptosis detection techniques include high sensitivity for apoptotic cells, the ability to differentiate between apoptotic and necrotic cell death and other forms of DNA damage, and the distinction between different stages of the cell death process. In this overview, we will focus on recent technical advances in apoptosis detection covering improvements of in situ DNA fragmentation techniques, as well as pointing out some of the new tools available for the detection of apoptotic cells in tissue.

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