- The enzymatic digestion of cells by enzymes present within them. The cells most susceptible to autolysis tend to be dying or dead cells. Pronounced aw-tol´i-sis.
* * *1. Enzymatic digestion of cells (especially dead or degenerate) by enzymes present within them (autogenous). 2. Destruction of cells as a result of a lysin formed in those cells or others in the same organism. SYN: autocytolysis, autodigestion, isophagy. [auto- + G. lysis, dissolution]
* * *au·tol·y·sis -ə-səs n, pl -y·ses -ə-.sēz breakdown of all or part of a cell or tissue by self-produced enzymes called also self-digestionau·to·lyt·ic .ȯt-əl-'it-ik adj
* * *n.the destruction of tissues or cells brought about by the actions of their own enzymes. See lysosome.
* * *au·tol·y·sis (aw-tolґĭ-sis) [auto- + -lysis] digestion of cellular components by endogenous hydrolases released from lysosomes following cell death, seen as a postmortem change and in certain pathological conditions.
Medical dictionary. 2011.