Over the last 15 years, apoptosis has become a dominant focus of
medical research in the field of immunology. This publication
discusses the three major areas of apoptosis research: extrinsic
death receptor pathways, intrinsic cell death pathways and the
mechanisms responsible for apoptotic cell clearance. Each section
delineates the proteins and signal transduction pathways and
describes genetic alterations that lead to autoimmune diseases.
Although most cell death abnormalities have been associated with
systemic autoimmune disorders such as lupus erythematosus and
lymphoproliferative syndromes, it is evident that regulation of
cell death is also pertinent to disease expression in many
organ-specific diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and
glomerulonephritis. This volume highlights the recent advances in
the basic mechanisms of apoptosis and the application of that
knowledge to understanding the impact of defective apoptosis or
defective clearance of apoptotic cells on the immune function and
the expression of disease. It is of special interest to cell
biologists, immunologists and clinicians.
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