Apoptotic and necrotic blebs in epethelial cells display similar neck diameters but different kinase dependency

L. F. Barros, T. Kanaseki, R. Sabirov, S. Morishima, J. Castro, C. X. Bittner, E. Maeno, Y. Ando-Akatsuka, Y. Okada

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136 Citations (Scopus)


Apoptotic and necrotic blebs elicited by H2O2 were compared in terms of dynamics, structure and underlying biochemistry in HeLa cells and Clone 9 cells. Apoptotic blebs appeared in a few minutes and required micromolar peroxide concentrations. Necrotic blebs appeared much later, prior to cell permeabilization, and required millimolar peroxide concentrations. Strikingly, necrotic blebs grew at a constant rate, which was unaffected throughout successive cycles of budding and detachment. At 1 μm diameter, the necks of necrotic and apoptotic blebs were almost identical. ATP depletion was discarded as a major factor for both types of bleb. Inhibition of ROCK-I, MLCK and p38MAPK strongly decreased apoptotic blebbing but had no effect on necrotic blebbing. Taken together, these data suggest the existence of a novel structure of fixed dimensions at the neck of both types of plasma membrane blebs in epithelial cells. However, necrotic blebs can be distinguished from apoptotic blebs in their susceptibility to actomyosin kinase inhibition.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)687-697
Number of pages11
JournalCell Death and Differentiation
Issue number6
Publication statusPublished or Issued - 1 Jun 2003
Externally publishedYes


  • ATP
  • Apoptosis
  • Blebs
  • Calcium
  • Cytoskeleton
  • Necrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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