AG Linkermann

“Trying to prevent clinically relevant cell death“

Ever since Rudolf Virchow indicated necrosis as an uncontrollable clinical burden, the concept of necrosis as a non-regulated process evolved. However, today it is known that necrosis results from genetically determined signalling pathways, such as necroptosis or pyroptosis, and therefore represents a therapeutic target.

Virchow anticipated that necrosis is a central pathophysiological feature of diseases, such as stroke, myocardial infarction, sepsis, solid tumors, acute hemorrhage, pancreatitis, acute kidney injury, acute liver failure, trauma, rhabdomyolysis and toxicities. Therefore, we are trying to prevent clinically relevant cell death. And yes - we belive it is possible!


Necrosis comes in different flavors, such as kinase-mediated necroptosis, caspase-mediated pyroptosis or iron-catalyzed ferroptosis. Small molecules may be useful to prevent regulated necrosis. Here is an easy-to-read introcution to necroptosis, published in the NEJM. Click here for a 2017 overview on ferroptosis published in "Cell".