Author(s): Bennetts PS, Pierce JD
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Abstract Apoptosis, or programmed cell death, is a physiologic mechanism employed by most multicellular organisms to maintain homeostasis of body tissues. In balance with the production of new cells by mitosis, apoptosis provides for the orderly destruction and removal of cells that are no longer needed by the organism. Apoptosis occurs by complex pathways involving multiple biochemical signals and processes. Dysfunctional apoptotic mechanisms are the pathologic basis for many human diseases, including common disorders of the heart, lungs, brain, and endocrine systems. Researchers have demonstrated in animal models that neurodegenerative changes after the administration of anesthetic drugs are related to apoptosis. Anesthesia drugs have been found to induce apoptosis, perhaps through the production of reactive oxygen species. Propofol is a drug used in anesthesia that has unique antioxidant qualities that may be beneficial. The purpose of this article is to review, for nurse anesthesia providers, current information about the process of apoptosis, the role of apoptosis in comorbid diseases, and the implications of the effects of anesthesia drugs on normal apoptotic mechanisms that need to be evaluated as potential sources of risk or benefit to surgical patients.
This article was published in AANA J
and referenced in Journal of Computer Science & Systems Biology