IN RECENT years, the lysosome has been established as a major source of the acid hydrolytic enzymes.1-6 Novikoff4 has summarized the existing information pertaining to the function of this organelle within the nervous system. The reader is referred to this excellent review for details. In brief, current theory holds that the lysosome performs an integral role in normal cellular digestion, is involved in ridding the cell of waste products through phagocytic activity, and may participate in autodigestion and removal of the parent cell following cell death. The term "suicide bag," proposed by deDuve2,7 to emphasize the catabolic activities of the lysosome, has engendered an extension of the concept of autolysis to tissue injury. This attractive theory proposes that injuries, which interfere with cellular oxidative metabolism (which would include most types of injury), promote accumulation of metabolic products resulting in regional acidosis favorable to the action of
Bingham WG, Paul SE, Sastry KSS. Effects of Cold Injury on Six Enzymes in Rat Brain. Arch Neurol. 1969;21(6):649–660. doi:10.1001/archneur.1969.00480180105011
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