The processes of cell division and cell death interact to generate the proper numbers and types of cells during development and to maintain this balance in the mature animal. The view that some cells die as a normal part of both development and homeostasis was established more than forty years ago (reviewed by Gliicksmann 1950). The precise function that naturallyÂ occurring cell death plays, the manner in which it is regulated, and the mechÂ anisms by which it occurs are currently subjects of intense research. Naturally-occurring cell death is found throughout the animal kingdom. In vertebrates, cell deaths have been observed in almost all tissues (Gliicksmann 1950) and have been studied most extensively in the develÂ oping nervous system (reviewed by Hamburger & Oppenheim 1982; Cowan et al 1984; Oppenheim 1991) and in the immune system (reviewed by Duvall & Wyllie 1986). Cell death also affects many different tissues during invertebrate development. In nematodes, neurons, muscle cells, epithelial cells, intestinal cells, and gonadal cells all can die during normal development (reviewed by Horvitz et al 1982; see also Sulston & Horvitz 1977; Sternberg & Horvitz 1981, 1982; SuIston et al 1983; Ellis & Horvitz 1986). Both muscle cell
Annual Review of Cell and Developmental Biology – Annual Reviews
Published: Nov 1, 1991
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