One of the hallmarks of apoptosis is cell shrinkage, which--at constant extracellular osmolarity--requires a decrease of cellular osmolarity. Moreover, apoptosis can be elicited by increase of extracellular osmolarity and the resistance of cells towards apoptosis correlates with their ability to regulate their volume in hypertonic environment. On the other hand, CD95-receptor-mediated apoptosis is blunted at moderate increases of extracellular osmolarity. Given the role of cell volume alterations it is not surprising that apoptosis is paralleled by marked alterations of cell volume regulatory mechanisms. Stimulation of the CD95-receptor, which confers apoptosis to a variety of cells, leads to activation of cell volume regulatory anion channel ORCC. However, activation of ORCC is paralleled by inhibition of cell volume regulatory K+ channel Kv1.3. It is only 40 to 60 minutes after triggering of the CD95-receptor when the cells release the organic osmolyte taurine and shrink.