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pyknosis

[pyknotic]

a general term, sometimes called nuclear pyknosis, describing the shrinking of the cell nucleus in a dying cell (Majno et al, 1995; Trump et al, 1997). This process is observed in cells undergoing cell death by apoptosis or necdrosis (hence the terms apoptotic pyknosis and necrotic pyknosis). Pyknosis is preceded by karyolysis, the dissolution of the cell nucleus. Pyknosis is usually accompanied with an increase of nuclear basophilia, i.e., an increase in staining by hematoxylin. Increased staining is the result of progressing DNA condensation in the nucleus. For a pyknosis inducing factor see also: Acinus.

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