Measurement of Cell Death in Mammalian Cells

Brian S. Cummings, Rick G. Schnellmann

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


Methods for assessing mammalian cell death are presented in this article, which is divided into six sections: (1) a brief overview of cytotoxicity and pathways of cell death; (2) a method to measure cell death using lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) release as a marker of membrane integrity; (3) a flow cytometry method that simultaneously measures two types of cell death, necrosis and apoptosis; (4) use of fluorescence microscopy and nuclear morphology to assess apoptosis and necrosis; (5) the use of multi-well plates and high-content analysis imaging systems to assess nuclear morphology; and (6) a discussion of the use of cytotoxicity assays to determine the mechanisms of cell death.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article numbere210
JournalCurrent Protocols
Issue number8
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • apoptosis
  • cytotoxicity
  • necrosis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Pharmacology, Toxicology and Pharmaceutics(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Health Informatics
  • Medical Laboratory Technology
  • Medicine(all)


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