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Name: Hictor
Status: Educator
Grade:  Other
Location: KS
Country: United States
Date: September 2005

How does a cell organize it self and speak to other cells?

I am guessing that by organize you mean develop with other cells into an organized tissue. The short answer is, we don't know. We have lots of information on cell membrane glycoproteins that support cell to cell connnections and we have information on genes involved in the tissue development, along with cytokines that communicate among cells not necessarily in contact, but we don't have a clear picture at all as to what is really going on. This is a very big question for us and will probably take many years to develop into a reaonably clear picture.


One of the ways in which cells communicate with each other is through hormones. One of the cells secretes a hormone that circulates throughout the body and binds to receptors on the target cell which stimulates the target cell to initiate a biochemical reaction. For example, when the concentration of glucose rises in the blood, pancreatic cells (specifically Islets of Langerhans cells) secrete insulin which then stimulates liver cells to take-up glucose and store it a glycogen.

Ron Baker, Ph.D.

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