How do skeletal muscles die? an overview

Eli Carmeli, Dror Aizenbud, Oren Rom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Clarifying the confusion regarding the term “muscle death” is of great importance, especially for clinicians. In response to various stimuli, skeletal muscle may undergo pathological changes, leading to muscle atrophy and consequently resulting in the loss of muscle strength and function. Depending on the stimulus, skeletal muscles can be induced to die through different mechanisms mainly via apoptosis, autophagy and necrosis. Muscle death may occur secondary to various physiological and pathological conditions such as aging, starvation, immobilization, denervation, inflammation, muscle diseases and cancer. This overview aims to elucidate the medical terminology and pathways used to describe muscle death, which are commonly confused. In addition, some of the common pathological conditions that lead to muscle death such as cachexia and sarcopenia of aging are dwelled on.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-111
Number of pages13
JournalAdvances in Experimental Medicine and Biology
StatePublished - 2015

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2015 Springer International Publishing Switzerland.


  • Apoptosis
  • Autophagy
  • Cachexia
  • Cell death
  • Muscle atrophy
  • Necrosis
  • Sarcopenia
  • Skeletal muscle

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology


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