JONES, DR. A ajones.coker at MHS.UNC.EDU
Tue Nov 25 16:11:50 EST 1997

Mr. Tail's previous message (subject line test'apoptosis)  has raised an 
old issue.  He says that apoptosis means programmed cell death and gives 
the example of tail metamorphosis.  It seems that first we understood the 
meaning of apoptosis then we forgot it, then around 1993 we remembered 
again, and now we have forgotten.  Apoptosis is only one of three 
morphologically distinct PCDs found in animals.  But many people, 
especially newcomers to the field, now use apoptosis and PCD 
interchangeably.  In general, that's OK, except in the cases where it is 
implied by its use that all PCD's are mechanistically the same, that of 
apoptosis .  This has not been shown. Take Mr. Tail's specific example of 
tail metamorphosis.  During tail metamorphosis, autophagic degeneration, 
not apoptosis, is the predominant form of PCD.   

Alan Jones
Department of Biology
305 Coker Hall CB#3280
Chapel Hill, N.C. 27599-3280
Phone: (919)-962-6932
Fax: (919)-962-1625
Email: alan_jones at unc.edu

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