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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.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(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
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(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.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.
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
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
The accent is on the green, hedgerow hues of the English summer with a floral lift to the nose and some autolysis notes around the edges.
The quality of fish deterioration occurs mainly as results of autolysis (self-digestion) and microbial growth (Lone and Hans, 1996).
Although the advanced postmortem autolysis did not enable us to obtain reliable histopathological information from the 5 remaining otters, biomolecular analyses yielded positive results from several tissues (submandibular lymph node, parotidal gland, lung, brain, heart, kidney, urinary bladder, and liver) in 2 of them (Figure, panel A).
These ones had their number increased probably due to the cell autolysis or diminished competition for nutrients.
Since autolysis of pancreas is rapid, samples were collected only from autopsies performed within 6 hours after death.
The electron microscopic evaluation is only done if no or remarkably few asbestos bodies are found under the light microscope, but secondary lung changes like fibrosis, inflammation, putrefaction or autolysis are present, according to the current Helsinki Criteria [5].
Bottle aging allows for autolysis (yeast decomposition), which contributes to a wine's toasty, yeasty notes.
lugdunensis gene, which appears to be implicated in cell autolysis and separation.
This can prevent corpus luteum from atrophy and autolysis, thereby extending its functionality.[20] Several studies support that the effects of VP on the maturity of the endometrium are superior to those of IMP.
The cytoplasmic area is light eosinophilic, finely granular, and often indistinct because of early onset of autolysis in adrenal medullary tissue [3].
Bacterial DNA is released by the action of the secreted metalloprotease gelatinase (GelE) on the major autolysin (AtlA), but only in a subpopulation of cells (ca 15%) that do not, concomitantly, express serine protease (SprE) for preventing autolysis. The released chromosomal eDNA then facilitates initial attachment and microcolony formation (11, 12).
Vitreous humor (VH) is less subjected to rapid autolysis and thus become the preferred fluid for chemical testing in past 40-50 years.