Human neutrophils are constantly produced in the marrow and released into the blood to search for invading pathogens. After only one day, they "commit suicide" and are replaced by younger cells. Beginning with the typical neutrophil shape, the apoptotic neutrophil in the clip above undergoes a series of changes including violent membrane blebbing, called zeiosis, (animation to the right) and fragmentation of DNA creating a vacuolar nucleus. Apoptotic cells shrink in size, break into smaller pieces called apoptotic bodies that other body cells recognize and eat.
Got a paper due on apoptosis? For the current science on this subject, visit the International Cell Death Society.