unconventional communication

Hans Xie GWU5042 at GWUVM.GWU.EDU
Sat Dec 26 15:06:46 EST 1992


I am interested in the neuron-neuron communication, or more generally,
cell-cell communication.  Neurons can communication through hormones,
neurotransmitters, or cell adhesion molecules, or possibly through
gap junction.  Is it possible that neurons communicate via certain
physical messagers such as pressure, electric field, magnetic field,
or radiation?  Here I list some of what I read and thought, and I welcome
anybody point me to right review papers or any sort of recommendation.

1. a recent paper (Albrecht-Buehler, PNAS, vol 89, p8288) showes that BHK
    cells can communicate with each other via infrared light.  Could this
    also possible in neurons?

2. Alternating electric fields can activate membrane ATPase (Tsong, BBA
    vol 1113, p53).  Can neurons generate electric fields, even transiently,
    during normal situation, such as depolarization?

3. What about magnetic field?  There are some works on the influence of
    of magnetic field over normal cellular physiologies,  but most, if not
    all, of the studies arise from an enviromental concern, or medical
    technologies.  Does a neuron have a magnetic field? and can it change?
4.  There are stretch receptors, which could sense pressure, but can
    cells generate pressure on the surface of other cells?

    All of these questions point to a central question that whether cells
are able to exploit some physical measures to communicate.

Hans Xie
e-mail, gwu5042 at gwuvm.gwu.edu



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