AAT Bioquest

How do you detect apoptosis?

Posted May 18, 2020


Apoptosis can be detected by monitoring one of the characteristics involved in the process.

  • Morphological changes: imaging with electron microscopy
  • DNA fragmentation: TUNEL assay, DNA ladder assay, the comet assay
  • Activation of caspase: caspase activity assays involving various caspase substrates and inhibitors
  • Release of cytochrome C: western blotting
  • Exposure of phosphatidylserine on cell surface: Annexin V Staining
  • Change of mitochondrial membrane potential: assays using fluorescent probes such as JC-1, Rhodamine 123, and JC-10TM

A wide variety of technologies can be used to detect apoptosis based on the aforementioned principles, including flow cytometry, ELISA, microscopy, fluorescence microplate reader et al.

Additional resources

Apoptosis and Necrosis

Annexin V, FITC Labeled

Cell Meter™ Live Cell TUNEL Apoptosis Assay Kit *Green Fluorescence*

Detection of apoptosis: A review of conventional and novel techniques