Cell Signaling | 5 Types with Suitable Examples

Cell signaling is a method of communication of one cell with other cells. This is done by following methods like

  1. Contact dependent cell signaling
  2. Paracrine signaling
  3. Autocrine signaling
  4. Endocrine signaling
  5. Synaptic signaling.

Cells need to contact with other cells for normal physiology of the body. Sometimes they signal the nearby cells, and other times they signal to distant cells.

Types of cell signaling.

Contact dependent cell signaling:

Here the cell signal occurs in between cells having a contact at the cell membrane level. One cell has a signal molecule, and the other has a receptor moiety on their cell surfaces.

Paracrine signaling:

This is a signal where one cell signals nearby neighboring cells.

cell signalling

Examples: Cytokines like the prostaglandins show this type of signaling

Autocrine signaling: This is a type of cell signal where a cell gives a signal to itself. A signal molecule is released out of the cell. This molecule, in return, acts and gives a signal to the same cell through surface receptors.

Endocrine signaling:

This is a signal which is given by one cell to another cell located in a distant region. The signal molecule is released into the bloodstream. This is then carried away and distributed by the blood to other cells. These distant cells receive the signal.

Example: Endocrine gland cells secrete hormones to affect the distant cell.

Synaptic signaling:

synapse cell signalling

This is a signal which occurs between two nerve cells. It is specific to only the nervous tissue. Here the signal is passed from one nerve cells to another through the neurotransmitter.

Nerve cells secrete acetylcholine, dopamine, and other neurotransmitters.

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