Nature Article: Apoptosis

Dr. Sydney Shall sydney.shall at kcl.ac.uk
Tue Jan 4 12:23:12 EST 2000

private wrote:

> >The notion that "apoptosis is something to be prevented in order to prolong
> >lifespan" is certainly not proven by this paper.  What they have neatly
> >shown is that prevention of cell death and prolonged lifespan are linked,
> >which isn't exactly a great leap of faith for anyone.
> >
> Ok, my question is, why would an organism survive longer with damaged
> cells?  Even if the cells are not gotten rid of via apoptosis, why
> isn't there some negative impact of living and functioning with
> damaged cells?

Yes there is.  But with cells perhaps one survives, even though damaged.

This dichotomy is more clearly seen in bacteria, where there is clearly a
choice between surviving with mutations or not surviving at all.  The question
then is whether multicellular organisms have evolved mechanisms to dispose of
damaged cells because they can afford to.  But perhaps in artificially extended
life spans [laboratory animals and humans], this rejection of damaged cells may
be so excessive that there may be a shortage of replacement cells.  Perhaps?

A happy New Year to everybody.

Sydney Shall

-- Dr. Sydney Shall, Department of Molecular Medicine, King's College School of
Medicine & Dentistry, The Rayne Institute, 123 Coldharbour Lane, LONDON, SE5
9NU, TEL: 01 71 346 3126; FAX: 01 71 733 3877, E-Mail: sydney.shall at kcl.ac.uk


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