a) The process of self-digestion by a cell through the action of enzymes originating within the same cell. Often a defensive and/or self-preservation measure.
b) A type of programmed cell death accomplished through self-digestion

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  • Autophagy — Au*toph a*gy, n. [Gr. ? self + ? to eat.] (Med.) The feeding of the body upon itself, as in fasting; nutrition by consumption of one s own tissues. [Webster 1913 Suppl.] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • autophagy — au·toph·a·gy (ô tŏfʹə jē) n. The process of self digestion by a cell through the action of enzymes originating within the same cell. * * * …   Universalium

  • autophagy — Segregation and disposal of damaged organelles within a cell. SYN: autophagia (3). [auto + G. phago, to eat] * * * au·toph·a·gy ȯ täf ə jē n, pl gies digestion of cellular constituents by enzymes of the same cell au·toph·a·gic jik adj * * *… …   Medical dictionary

  • autophagy — feeding on body s own tissues Feeding and Eating …   Phrontistery dictionary

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