Mechanisms of cell death in heart disease.

Klitos Konstantinidis, Russell S. Whelan, Richard N. Kitsis

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

209 Scopus citations


The major cardiac syndromes, myocardial infarction and heart failure, are responsible for a large portion of deaths worldwide. Genetic and pharmacological manipulations indicate that cell death is an important component in the pathogenesis of both diseases. Cells die primarily by apoptosis or necrosis, and autophagy has been associated with cell death. Apoptosis has long been recognized as a highly regulated process. Recent data indicate that a significant subset of necrotic deaths is also programmed. In the review, we discuss the molecular mechanisms that underlie these forms of cell death and their interconnections. The possibility is raised that small molecules aimed at inhibiting cell death may provide novel therapies for these common and lethal heart syndromes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1552-1562
Number of pages11
JournalArteriosclerosis, thrombosis, and vascular biology
Issue number7
StatePublished - Jul 2012

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine

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