The Sound of Silence: Signaling by Apoptotic Cells

UMMS Affiliation

Department of Molecular, Cell, and Cancer Biology

Publication Date


Document Type

Book Chapter


Cell Biology | Cellular and Molecular Physiology | Developmental Biology


Apoptosis is a carefully choreographed process of cellular self-destruction in the absence of inflammation. During the death process, apoptotic cells actively communicate with their environment, signaling to both their immediate neighbors as well as distant sentinels. Some of these signals direct the anti-inflammatory immune response, instructing specific subsets of phagocytes to participate in the limited and careful clearance of dying cellular debris. These immunomodulatory signals can also regulate the activation state of the engulfing phagocytes. Other signals derived from apoptotic cells contribute to tissue growth control with the common goal of maintaining tissue integrity. Derangements in these growth control signals during prolonged apoptosis can lead to excessive cell loss or proliferation. Here, we highlight some of the most intriguing signals produced by apoptotic cells during the course of normal development as well as during physiological disturbances such as atherosclerosis and cancer.


Apoptosis-induced apoptosis, Apoptosis-induced proliferation, Apoptotic bodies, Caspases, Fractalkine, Mahakali effect, Phoenix Rising, Phosphatidylserine

DOI of Published Version



Curr Top Dev Biol. 2015;114:241-65. doi: 10.1016/bs.ctdb.2015.07.013. Epub 2015 Sep 11. Link to article on publisher's site

Journal/Book/Conference Title

Current topics in developmental biology

Related Resources

Link to Article in PubMed

PubMed ID