Cell death in developing skeletal muscle: histochemistry and ultrastructure

The Journal of Pathology
J N Webb


The histological, histochemical and ultrastructural features of cell death in the normal human foetus are described. The age range of the foetuses was 7 to 16 wk. Cell death was observed in all foetuses between 10 and 16 wk. On the basis of these findings it is suggested that disintegration of cell membrane may be a crucial factor in this process. Acid phosphatase activity and phagocytosis of cell debris are evidently not the main means of disposal of degenerate cell products. The possible relevance of cell death in embryogenesis for dystrophic processes is discussed.


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