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The breaking down of cells or tissues by their own enzymes. Also called self-digestion.

au′to·lyt′ic (ô′tə-lĭt′ĭk) adj.


(Biochemistry) the destruction of cells and tissues of an organism by enzymes produced by the cells themselves
[C20: via German from Greek autos self + lusis loosening, release]
autolytic adj


(ɔˈtɒl ə sɪs)

the breakdown of plant or animal tissue by the action of enzymes contained in the tissue affected; self-digestion.
au•to•lyt•ic (ˌɔt lˈɪt ɪk) adj.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.autolysis - lysis of plant or animal tissue by an internal process
lysis - (biochemistry) dissolution or destruction of cells such as blood cells or bacteria
References in periodicals archive ?
There is autolysis of bacterial cells and release of intracellular contents including DNA (Palmen and Hellingwerf, 1995, Palmen and Hellingwerf, 1997).
Before the advent of PCR, the method of choice for diagnosing yellow fever was IHC, which remains a highly reliable diagnostic tool (13), even in the presence of some autolysis (14).
Full necropsy examinations done on 27 birds were hampered by freezing artifact and autolysis, but results indicated death was caused by the consequences of acute hypoglycemia.
There is autolysis of dead bacterial cells and release of cytoplasmic contents including DNA (Palmen and Hellingwerf, 1995).
Yeast autolysis also occurs during this period, yielding the release of intracellular compounds suchas amino acids, peptides, proteins, polysaccharides, nucleic acid derivatives, and lipids.
In conclusion, autolysis of pancreas secondary to intraacinar enzyme activation is the most accepted theory in the pathogenesis of pancreatitis.
In the later course of the fermentation cells go on forming at slow rate and banana waste degradation continues due to attack of extracellular as well as intracellular cellulase liberated as a result of autolysis.
Changes confirmed with ultrastructural analyses included nuclear chromatin aggregation and margination, marked reduction of rough endoplasmic reticulum and Golgi complexes, vascular degenerations, and necrosis and autolysis of tumor cells with dark cells and/or naked nuclear cells.
Three patients were not diagnosed as leprosy by histopathology; two of those had normal findings, one had autolysis.
Histomonas organisms typically stain PAS-positive in well-preserved tissues, but autolysis causes PAS staining to fade and disappear (Alejandro and Strafuss, 1984; Abdul-Aziz and Fletcher, 2016).
Durachko, Autolysis and Extension of Isolated Walls from Growing Cucumber Hypocotyls, J.