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Morphological characteristics of pyknosis and other forms of nuclear destruction

Karyorrhexis (Greek karyon = "kernel, seed or nucleus", and rhexis- = "bursting") is the destructive fragmentation of the nucleus of a dying cell[1] whereby its chromatin is distributed irregularly throughout the cytoplasm. It is usually preceded by pyknosis and can occur as a result of either programmed cell death (apoptosis), senescence, or necrosis.

In apoptosis, the cleavage of DNA is done by Ca2+ and Mg2+ -dependent endonucleases.

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  1. ^ Zamzami N, Kroemer G. (1999). "Apoptosis: Condensed matter in cell death". Nature 401 (127): 127–8. doi:10.1038/43591. PMID 10490018.