Ischemic cell death

Ischemic cell death, or Oncosis, is a form of accidental, or passive cell death that is often considered a lethal injury. The process is characterized by mitochondrial swelling, cytoplasm vacuolization, and swelling of the nucleus and cytoplasm.[1]


Although ischemic cell death is the accepted name of the process, the alternative name of oncosis was introduced as the process involves the affected cell(s) swelling to an abnormally large size in known models. This is thought to be caused by failure of the plasma membrane's ionic pumps. The name oncosis (derived from ónkos, meaning largeness, and ónkosis, meaning swelling) was first introduced in 1910 by pathologist Friedrich Daniel von Recklinghausen.[2]


  1. "Oncosis". Retrieved 10 August 2010.
  2. Majno; Joris (1995). "Apoptosis, oncosis, and necrosis. An overview of cell death.". Am. J. Pathol. 146 (1): 1–2;16–19. PMC 1870771Freely accessible. PMID 7856735.

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