Autophagic cell death exists. Autophagy 8:867-869

University of Lausanne
Autophagy (Impact Factor: 11.75). 06/2012; 8(6):867-9. DOI: 10.4161/auto.20380
Source: PubMed


The term autophagic cell death (ACD) initially referred to cell death with greatly enhanced autophagy, but is increasingly used to imply a death-mediating role of autophagy, as shown by a protective effect of autophagy inhibition. In addition, many authors require that autophagic cell death must not involve apoptosis or necrosis. Adopting these new and restrictive criteria, and emphasizing their own failure to protect human osteosarcoma cells by autophagy inhibition, the authors of a recent Editor's Corner article in this journal argued for the extreme rarity or nonexistence of autophagic cell death. We here maintain that, even with the more stringent recent criteria, autophagic cell death exists in several situations, some of which were ignored by the Editor's Corner authors. We reject their additional criterion that the autophagy in ACD must be the agent of ultimate cell dismantlement. And we argue that rapidly dividing mammalian cells such as cancer cells are not the most likely situation for finding pure ACD.

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    • "However, hyperactivation of autophagy will lead to cell death called as 'autophagic cell death'. The autophagic cell death was introduced in the 1980s to describe dying cells with increased autophagic markers [7]. Recently, the term'autophagic cell death' was defined as a cell death that is mediated by autophagy, which could be suppressed by pharmacological or genetic inhibition of autophagy [8]. "
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    • "This confusion has led some to argue against the existence of ACD (35, 36). However, despite these controversies, accumulating evidence supports the indispensable existence of ACD (reviewed in (37, 38)). Recently, Shen and Codogno have proposed a new set of criteria for ACD and listed several experimental situations where ACD meeting these criteria exists (reviewed in (38)). "
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