APOPTOSIS: FROM CONCEPTION TO BIRTH – THE MANY BATTLES BEFORE WE ARE BORN
*Onoriode Oyiborhoro, Kingsley A. Iteire and Esosa S. Uhumnwangho
Studies in the past have outlined the role of apoptosis in the pathogenesis of many diseases. Most of these studies suggested that a dysregulated apoptosis is strategic to disease development, with diseases such as cancers developing as a result of cellular resistance to apoptotic signals, while neurodegenerative and autoimmune diseases result from increased susceptibility of cells to apoptosis. Consequently, most studies on apoptosis have focused on diseases of adulthood, including cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. In fact, several therapeutic agents that regulate the process of apoptosis are currently used for treatment of these diseases. In contrast, limited attention is paid to the role of apoptosis in the development of prenatal diseases or even its role in the normal development of the embryo, even though congenital diseases are of great public health concern. In the present review, we revisit the concept of apoptosis, with a view to highlighting its role in the physiological development of the foetus and pathogenesis of some congenital abnormalities. It is our hope that this article will redirect the attention of researchers and open up a new body of knowledge that will serve as a reference point for paediatricians, embryologists and indeed, the larger scientific society.
Keywords: Apoptosis, Conception, Congenital, Prenatal, Birth.
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