Epithelia provide a protective barrier for most organs inside the body. Cell death within epithelia could potentially disrupt the barrier function of these protective layers. However, we have discovered a process for how apoptotic cells are eliminated from the epithelium without compromising the epithelial barrier function. Here, the dying cell sends signals to its live neighbors, which respond by forming an actin and myosin ring that contracts to squeeze the dying cell out.
Video courtesy of Cell Press: Current Biology 2001, 11:1847–1857 Copyright 2001