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Intercellular

Communication

M. Djauhari Widjajakusumah
Departemen Fisiologi
Fakultas Kedokteran Universitas
Indonesia

Intercellular
Intercellular Communication
Communication
Cells
Cells communicate
communicate with
with each
each other
other via
via chemical
chemical messenger
messenger
Gap
Gap junction
junction
Chemical
Chemical messenger
messenger move
move from
from cell
without entering
entering
cell to
to cell
cell without
ECF
ECF
Neural
Neural communication
communication
Neurotransmitter
Neurotransmitter released
released from
from nerve
nerve cells
cells at
at synaptic
synaptic junction,
junction,
act
act across
across synaptic
synaptic cleft
postsynaptic cell
cell
cleft on
on postsynaptic
Endocrine
Endocrine communication
communication
Hormones
Hormones reach
reach and
and bind
bind to
to receptors
target cells
receptors of
of the
the target
cells via
via the
the
circulating
circulating blood
blood
Paracrine
Paracrine communication
communication
Products
Products of
of cells
cells diffuse
diffuse in
to affect
affect neighboring
neighboring cells
cells
in the
the ECF
ECF to
Autocrine
Autocrine communication
communication
Chemical
Chemical messenger
messenger secreted
secreted by
by cell,
cell, bind
bind to
to receptors
receptors on
on the
the
same
same cell,
cell, i.e.
the cell
the messenger
i.e. the
cell that
that secreted
secreted the
messenger

Intercellular communication by chemical


mediators

Specialized types of junctions


Many cells are physically joined at discrete
locations along their membranes by specialized
types of junctions known as
desmosomes
tight junctions
gap junctions

Vander et al.: Human Physiology: The Mechanism of


Body Function, Eighth Edition, 2001

Specialized types of junctions


Desmosomes
Consist of a region between two adjacent cells where the
apposed plasma membranes are separated by about 20
nm
Have a dense accumulation of protein at the cytoplasmic
surface of each membrane and in the space between the
two membranes
Protein fibers extend from the cytoplasmic surface of
desmosomes into the cell and are linked to other
desmosomes on the opposite side of the cell.
Desmosomes function to hold adjacent cells firmly
together in areas that are subject to considerable
stretching, such as in the skin.
The specialized area of the membrane in the region of a
desmosome is usually disk-shaped, and these membrane
junctions could be likened to rivets or spot-welds.

Vander et al.: Human Physiology: The


Mechanism of Body Function, Eighth
Edition, 2001

Specialized types of junctions


Tight junction
The extracellular surfaces of two adjacent plasma membranes are
joined together, no extracellular space between them
Occurs in a band around the entire circumference of the cell.
Most epithelial cells are joined by tight junctions
Epithelial cells cover the inner surface of the intestinal tract, come
in contact with the digestion products in the cavity of the tract
During absorption, the products of digestion move across the
epithelium and enter the blood
For many substances movement through the extracellular space is
blocked by the tight junctions, and organic nutrients are required
to pass through the cells, rather than between them
The selective barrier properties of the plasma membrane can
control the types and amounts of absorbed substances
The ability of tight junctions to impede molecular movement
between cells is not absolute. Ions and water can move through
these junctions with varying degrees of ease in different
epithelium.

Vander et al.: Human Physiology: The


Mechanism of Body Function, Eighth
Edition, 2001

Gap
Gap Junction
Junction
Structure
Structure in
in plasma
plasma membranes
membranes of
of cells
cells that
that are
are in
in direct
direct physical
physical contact
contact
with
with one
one another
another
The
The two
two opposing
opposing plasma
plasma membranes
membranes come
come within
within 2
2 to
to 4
4 nm
nm of
of each
each other,
other,
which
which allows
allows specific
specific proteins
proteins from
from the
the two
two membranes
membranes to
to join,
join, forming
forming small,
small,
protein-lined
protein-lined channels
channels linking
linking the
the two
two cells,
cells, linking
linking the
the cytosols
cytosols of
of adjacent
adjacent
cells
cells
Allows
Allows cells
cells to
to have
have direct
direct communication
communication by
by allowing
allowing small
small molecules
molecules to
to pass
pass
directly
directly from
from the
the cytosol
cytosol of
of one
one cell
cell to
to the
the cytosol
cytosol of
of an
an adjacent
adjacent cell
cell
Gap
Gap junctions
junctions coordinate
coordinate the
the activities
activities of
of adjacent
adjacent cells
cells by
by allowing
allowing chemical
chemical
messengers
messengers to
to move
move from
from one
one cell
cell to
to another
another
The
The small
small diameter
diameter of
of the
the channels
channels (about
(about 1.5
1.5 nm)
nm) llimits
imits what
what can
can pass
pass
between
between the
the cytosols
cytosols of
of the
the connected
connected cells
cells to
to small
small molecules
molecules and
and ions,
ions, such
such
as
as sodium
sodium and
and potassium,
potassium, and
and excludes
excludes the
the exchange
exchange of
of large
large proteins
proteins
Heart
Heart muscle
muscle cells
cells and
and smooth-muscle
smooth-muscle cells
cells possess
possess gap
gap junctions,
junctions, play
play aa
very
very important
important role
role in
in the
the transmission
transmission of
of electrical
electrical activity
activity between
between the
the cells.
cells.

Vander et al.: Human Physiology: The


Mechanism of Body Function, Eighth
Edition, 2001

Despopoulos, Color Atlas of Physiology 5TH ed 2003 Thieme

Paracrine
Paracrine Communication
Communication
Products
Products of
of cells
cells (paracrines,
(paracrines, local
local chemical
chemical
messengers)
messengers) diffuse
diffuse in
in the
the ECF
ECF to
to affect
affect neighboring
neighboring
cells,
cells, in
in the
the immediate
immediate environment
environment of
of their
their site
site of
of
secretion
secretion
Distributed
Distributed by
by simple
simple diffusion,
diffusion, do
do not
not enter
enter the
the
blood
blood in
in any
any significant
significant quantity
quantity because
because they
they are
are
rapidly
rapidly inactivated
inactivated by
by locally
locally existing
existing enzymes
enzymes
The
The action
action is
is restricted
restricted to
to short
short distances.
distances.

Neural communication

Motor neuron with a myelinated axon. A motor neuron is comprised of a cell body
(soma) with a nucleus, several processes called dendrites, and a long fibrous axon that
originates from the axon hillock. The first portion of the axon is called the initial
segment. A myelin sheath forms from Schwann cells and surrounds the axon except at
its ending and at the nodes of Ranvier. Terminal buttons (boutons) are located at the
terminal endings.

Synaptic
Transmission

The neuromuscular junction. (a) Scanning electronmicrograph showing branching of


motor axons with terminals embedded in grooves in the muscle fiber's surface.
(b) Structure of a neuromuscular junction.
(From Widmaier EP, Raff H, Strang KT: Vanders Human Physiology. McGraw-Hill, 2008.)

Intercellular communication by chemical mediators

FIGURE 712
Mechanism of action of lipidsoluble messengers. This
figure shows the receptor for
these messengers as being in
the nucleus. In some cases, the
unbound receptor is in the
cytosol rather than the
nucleus, in which case the
binding
occurs there, and the
messenger-receptor complex
moves into the nucleus.

Vander et al.: Human Physiology: The


Mechanism of Body Function, 8th Ed 2001

Vander et al.: Human Physiology: The


Mechanism of Body Function, 8th Ed 2001

Vander et al.: Human Physiology: The


Mechanism of Body Function, 8th Ed 2001

Vander Human
Physiol,
The
Mechanism of
Body Function
8th ed

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