Apoptosis is a form of cell death that has gained enormous
attention during the past few years, and its mechanisms, important to
biology and medicine, are being unraveled at an accelerating pace.
Apoptosis of lung cells occurs during lung infections and may be either
a host defense mechanism or reflect the pathogenesis of the infection.
In the first part of this review, the biochemistry and physiology of
apoptotic pathways and its regulators are discussed. This is followed
by an overview of apoptotic mechanisms in selected lung infections. The
implications of apoptosis in host immunity, pathogenesis, and treatment
of pulmonary infections will be discussed in this