Skip to content


  • Research news
  • Open Access

Eat the dead

Genome Biology20001:spotlight-20000508-03

  • Published:


  • Plasma Membrane
  • Apoptotic Cell
  • Phosphatidylserine
  • Membrane Phospholipid
  • Plasma Membrane Phospholipid

Apoptosis eliminates the asymmetry of plasma membrane phospholipids and exposes phosphatidylserine on the outside of cells. Fadok et al. report in the May 4 Nature that they have found a phagocyte protein that recognizes the phosphatidylserine (Nature 2000, 405:85-90). Addition of the receptor to lymphocytes allows the cells to engulf apoptotic cells. Engagement of the receptor on macrophages induces the production of anti-inflammatory TGF-b consistent with the absence of inflammation during apoptosis.


  1. Exposure of phosphatidylserine on the surface of apoptotic lymphocytes triggers specific recognition and removal by macrophages.Google Scholar
  2. Nature magazine's homepage, []


© BioMed Central Ltd 2000