Pathways of apoptosis in lymphocyte development, homeostasis, and disease.


Apoptosis plays a critical role in lymphocyte development and homeostasis. Enhanced lymphocyte apoptosis can cause immunodeficiency through cell loss. Conversely, inhibition of apoptosis can lead to the development of autoimmunity or lymphoma. Two major pathways contribute to the regulation of lymphocyte cell death, death-by-neglect and death-by-instruction.