Table 1

The differences between pyroptosis, apoptosis, and necroptosis

CharacterActive PCDActive PCDPassive PCD
Morphology of cell membraneCell swelling, membrane rupture, bubble-like protrusionsCell shrinkage, intact membrane, many vesicles of various sizesCell rounding and swelling, membrane rupture
Membrane blebbingYesYesNo
Membrane integrityNoYesNo
DNA damageYesYesYes
Chromatin condensationYesYesNo
Intact nucleusYesNo (fragmented)Yes
Organelle morphologyDeformationIntactSwelling
Special constructionsPyroptotic bodiesApoptotic bodiesNo
Release of intracellular contentsDAMPs, inflammatory moleculesNoDAMPs, inflammatory molecules
Associated moleculesInitiation: Caspase-1, 3, 4, 5, 11.
Execution: GSDMD, GSDME
Initiation: Caspase-8, 9, 10.
Execution: Caspase-3, 6, 7
Pro-apoptotic members: Bax, Bak, Bok.
Anti-apoptotic members: Bcl-2, Bcl-xl, Mcl-1.
Initiation: RIPK1/RIPK3.
Execution: MLKL.
Inhibitory members: Caspase-8
7-AAD stainingYesNoYes
EtBr stainingYesNoYes
PI stainingYesNoYes
PS exposureYesYesYes
Annexin V stainingYesYesYes
TUNEL stainingYesYesYes

PCD, programmed cell death; GSDM, gasdermin; EtBr, ethidium bromide; PI, propidium iodide; PS, phosphatidylserine; TUNEL, TdT-mediated dUTP nick end labeling.