By Bethany Veo, PhD
Necroptosis occurs when cells fail to undergo apoptosis following inflammatory, oxidative or ischemic stressors. Necroptotic cell death removes damaged cells and cells no longer critical for development, independently of caspase activation. Whereas apoptotic cells display condensed nuclei and fragmentation, the telltale signs of necroptosis are plasma membrane permeabilization and mitochondria swelling. As a regulated cell death mechanism, the process of necroptosis is necessary for maintaining cellular homeostasis during development and as a response to cellular stress conditions.