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Enzyme(S) Substrate Effect Glycolytic enzymes Glycogen Lactic acid production resulting in pH drop Autolytic enzymes ADP, AMP, IMP Gradual Production involved in of Hypoxanthine nucleotide break down Cathepsins Proteins, peptides Softening of tissue Chymotrypsin, Proteins, peptides Belly-bursting trypsin, carboxy- peptidases Calpain Myofibrillar proteins Softening Collagenases Connective tissue Softening and gaping of tissue TrimethylamineOxide TMAO Formaldehyde (TMAO) demethylase Source: [13,14].
Consequently, immediate fixation prevents the degeneration of cells by autolytic enzymes present and preservation of cells as close to the living state as possible.
This process, called fixation, is also responsible for arresting any autolytic enzymes that will cause the tissue to break down.