Humans build receptors for wireless signals (radios, TVs, cellular phones, and laptops) and send wireless signals (text, telephones and computers). Microbes, T cells, and microglia, also, send and pick up wireless signals using cytokines, neurotransmitters, RNAs, proteins, and electricity. Recent research shows that cells, also, use light photons to communicate. Humans are constantly inundated with electromagnetic signals, but can only pick up the ones for which they have receivers. Microbes, T cells and microglia, also, receive only those messages for which they have built specific protein receptors.
Many previous posts have described cellular signaling—among viruses and bacteria, plant and animal cells. Please refer to the specific posts for the details of each cell type mentioned below.
All Cells Communicate in Many Ways
Immune cells use a very large complex communication system with hundreds of different cytokines and chemokines (a specialized cytokine that specializes in telling cells where to go). Many other cells, such as skin and the intestinal lining cells, also, use similar complex signaling back and forth to trillions of microbes on one side and the immune cells just below.
Nanotubes Between Cells – Cytonemes
Recently, cells of all types (humans and microbes) have been found to have very small nano tubes communicating with other cells. These cytonemes go travel long distances to transfer molecules, signals and genetic information.
Cytonemes are fragile but can extend the distance of 100 cells. They are just too small to have been noticed until recently, but now appear to be very common.
Neurons have been observed sending vesicles with proteins, small RNAs and DNA back and forth with glia cells. They have very important effects, such as oligodendrocytes sending heat shock proteins and glycolytic enzymes to protect the neuron from oxidative stress.
There are many different types of vesicles:
- Vacuole Vesicles: for plant cells to store food
Secretion Vesicles: neurotransmitters, hormones and material for extra cellular matrix.
- Lysosomes: for waste disposal with enzymes to break down molecules
- Transport Vesicles: transporting material inside the cell, compartment to compartment; from endoplasmic
reticulum to other sites; into blood.
- Gas Vesicles: control microbe gas content for positioning for light or movement.
- Extra cellular matrix vesicles: calcium, phosphate, lipids and necessary proteins to build bone matrix.
- Microbes transfer material: they make their own
viruses and use injection mechanisms like phage viruses.
- Viruses: sacs with material transferring genetic information
- Neuronal vesicles: secrete and pick up prions
Communication with Light Photons
Recently, it has been found that cells are able to communicate with photons from cell to cell (called bio photon emissions). Cells can perform this type of communication even through glass, which shows that it is not a molecular communication.
The research used microbes (ciliate Paramecium) in glass vials in the dark. Two different types of glass material allowed different wavelengths of light through—340 nm to long waves and 150nm (UV) to long waves. Cells were able to alter characteristics of nearby cells related to energy and cell division. The two different types of wavelengths resulted in different effects raising the question of different frequencies sending different types of information.
There are a variety of studies that have found some version of this light photon communication in yeast, crustacea, onion roots, and algae. There has, also, been cell-to-cell communication between cultured dying neurons and cancer cells that are separated in different glass containers.
Communication using RNAMost cells make many varieties of microRNAs that influence cell functions. They send them in exosomes (vesicles) to influence an entire class of cells. These RNAs reprogram cells and can greatly influence an entire function in an organism.
Primary Cilia – Center of CommunicationPrimary Cilia exist in all cells (microbes, plants and animal) and, although not widely known, are the center of communication with other cells. It is a stationary organ sticking
Primary cilia receive and analyze mechanical and chemical forces and signals. They send signals to other parts of the cell, to other cells, or to the larger organism.
There are many specialized versions of the primary cilium throughout the nervous system, including for hearing, sight and smell. They sense urine flow in kidney cells, light wavelengths in eye cells, pressure in cartilage, and blood flow in heart cells.
Human Cells Communication
Platelets secrete granules with many signals containing:
- δ- contain molecules that regulate blood flow with nucleotides such as ADP; amines histamine and serotonin; and ions Ca2 and PO3-.
- α- contain many different proteins and enzymes that attach and kill microbes.
- λ- contain lysosomal vesicles with enzymes altering shape of clot for healing.
Platelets release many unique signals called kinocidins, which are class of large proteins. They signal other immune cell and kill microbes. Kinocidins are unusual in that they can be large full sized proteins or pieces cut by enzymes.
Intestine Epithelial Cell
Microbes signal to these cells for protection, but this can possibly increase cancer. So, the epithelial cell must maintain a very delicate balance. Signals to T cells either increase the immune presence or decrease it. Messages tell T cells to be tolerant or not.
The Skin Cell
Skin cells have very extensive back and forth conversations with immune cells, microbes and the connective cells that make up the barrier. They determine the friendly microbes from unfriendly by signaling and determine which are allowed to stay on the surface. They are extremely active in calling for very specific immune cells when needed, using a language of hundreds of different cytokines and chemokines. They, also, have their own memory of immune history and the defenses related to specific microbes.
Three genes stimulated by interferon, (a factor produced by immune cells responding to an intrusion of an invader) trigger different approaches to fighting viruses in two kinds of brain cells. In these two different neurons, there are also differences in epigenetic markings and different microRNAs involved in the process of fighting the virus. It appears that each of these neurons evolved different mechanisms to fight the same virus.
There are many other examples of ordinary cells communicating. One example involves bone. Two types of cells, mesenchymal and cartilage, signal back and forth to determine the amount of bone that will grow on the cartilage. Mesenchyme signals limit the genes that make cartilage by modifying the gene and the histone. Another signal protects the cartilage growth.
Mitochondria Communicate With Neuron
Mitochondria make essential energy for all processes including movement and recycling of neurotransmitter vesicles, assembly and movement of the scaffolding tubules, generation of electric charge in axons and dendrites, and maintenance of synaptic neuroplasticity. They regulate the calcium levels in the cell, which trigger axon signal firing and regulate apoptosis, whereby a cell is systematically dismantled without forming scars.
Cancer Cell Communication
Many non-cancerous cells cooperate with cancers because of back and forth communication. Cancer cells are able to signal to structural cells like fibroblasts and blood vessel cells to build the cancer organ. Immune cells are fooled to give cancer growth factors behaving as if they were healing a wound. These chemokine signals activate receptors on blood vessels, which make them leaky.
Cancers have the same inter community chatter as microbes. Just as plants and microbes defend together against viruses, cancer cells signal to other cancer cells to protect against viruses.
Special Brain And Immune Cell Communication
Astrocytes use a large vocabulary of neurotransmitters, factors and cytokines to constantly communicate with the thousands of neurons they are in contact with, as well as microglia and other immune cells.
Astrocytes make up half of the brain and are much greater in number than neurons. They have a huge scaffolding sending signals to neurons that are critical to the function of neuroplasticity. Astrocyte signals use calcium fluctuations, not sodium and potassium as in neurons.
They communicate in a language of secreted factors that are absolutely necessary for brain function:
- Apolipoprotein E, bound to cholesterol, stimulates synapses and stimulates the vesicles that carry the neurotransmitters to be released at the synapse.
- Thrombospondins are large proteins critical for forming excitatory synapses, adhesion and scaffolding for the synapse.
- Hevin is critical in adult brain synapse formation and maintenance.
- Glypicans stimulate AMPA and NMDA receptors for function of excitatory neurons.
- Ephrins stimulate synapses and neuronal stem cells
Astrocytes communicate, also, by touching neurons. They control when signals will go out to microglia to eliminate synapses, as well as many signals to immune cells. They attract the complement system.
Different types of neurons are involved in different astrocyte signaling. Astrocytes can bridge the many different neuroplasticity mechanisms in the large circuits since they receive information from thousands of synapses at once.
Neurons Communicate Using Inflammation Pathways
Neurons trigger major inflammation in response to immune triggers, and “para-inflammation”, a subdued version to use in neuroplasticity. They can be triggered by the naked unmyelated axons, or segments of axons, with sideways local communication.
Chronic Pain A Conversation of Immune and Brain Cells
The neuro inflammation synapse includes pre and post synaptic neurons, astrocytes, microglia, T cells, endothelial (vessel lining) cells, macrophages and many other immune cells. With injury, microglia or platelets are the first responders. Both cells alter metabolism and shape; they multiply and start signaling. Astrocytes and T cells are rapidly involved. When neurons become involved, they secrete many other cytokines and chemokines. Extra cellular particles are secreted, which attract even more cellular signals.
There are so many different signals, that just to give some awareness of the complexity the following are some of the signals in this situation.
- Presynaptic Neuron: glutamate, CCL2, IFNg, IL-1B, ROS, TNF, receptors TRPV1, TRPA1, IL-1R1, NMDAR
- Astrocyte: IL-1b, TNF, EEAT1, EAAT2, CXCL1, IL-6,
- Inhibitory Neuron: IL-1B, IL-6, ROS, TNF, GABA, Glycine,
- T Cell and Microglia: BDNF, CCL2, IFNg, IL-1B, IL-6, IL-17, PGE2, ROS, TNF
- Post synaptic neuron: TRKB, BDNF, KCC2, IL-1R1, GRK2, PGE2, PKA, ERK, CREB, EP2, GABAR, GlyR3, IL- 1B, NR2A, NR2B, NR1, NMDAR, IL-17, ROS, CCL2, AMPAR, TNFR1, CXCL1, CXCR2, CCR2
T Cell Communication
When T cells travel in the cerebral spinal fluid of the brain, they send wireless signals to the neurons to maintain cognition and learning. When they determine that there is an invader, T cells will shift to signal the brain to start the “sick feeling”, which lowers cognition and prepares the body to fight off an infection.
T cells secrete cytokines for and against inflammation in different situations.
They have many different receptors and pick up signals from brain and immune cells of all types. Signals can cause inflammation or stop it. They communicate with complement also, the only cell with such receptors. They use MHC at times. They have a very large vocabulary of signals to all types of immune and brain cells.
[url=http://jonlieffmd.com/blog/ http://jonlieffmd.com/blog/new-myelin-code-adds-to-brain-complexity]Oligodendytes Talk with Neurons About Myelin[/url]
Neurons maintain different patterns of unmyelinated regions in different regions of the cortex, specifically to communicate with local immune cells, glia cells and regional tissue cells for specific purposes. This sideways communication from the naked axon can be with cytokines and neurotransmitters. In addition the electrical field potential, along with the shape of cells, the extracellular matrix and calcium spikes play a role in this very complex communication.
Brain Communication with Electricity
Electrical synapses are critical to brain function with all synaptic structures first modeled in the fetus as electrical synapses and then physically built as chemical receptors. With regeneration later in life electrical synapses first create the linkages. Electrical synapses can trigger synchronous waves and can cause currents in the extracellular medium affecting synapses and neuroplasticity.
Other electrical communication occurs through calcium spikes, action potentials, and the after potential of the spike. Electric potentials, gradients and fields all communicate information such as the structure of the embryo, the shape of organs and limbs.
- Plants monitor far red.
- Dodder tastes nutrients.
- Chili bean plants signal with either sound or magnetism to warn of the presence of the competitive fennel.
- Fruits signal others to increase ripening.
- Fungal wires between plants go for miles and
send nutrients and information in forests. Plants
can encourage the wires or cut them off if
threatened. Signals along fungal wires warn plants of predators.
- Microbes and Fungus have back and forth elaborate signaling to cooperate in building nitrogen factories. Special “calcium signaling” provides path for microbes to follow into the plant.
- Mechanical force of a single fungus cell is registered by the plant as a signal.
- Plants and microbes self edit DNA/RNA to build attack proteins, and microRNA and siRNA; plants make a large family of R (resistance) proteins like human antibodies.
- Dodder uses horizontal gene transfer of genetic material to manipulate other plants
Many posts have described the elaborate signaling between microbes.
Microbes secrete signals that can immobilize other cells, kill or eat prey or form a large community, such as a biofilm. Microbes integrate multiple sensors, such as chemicals, temperature and touch. Regulation of even small microbes involves hundreds, or thousands, of different one step and two-step receptors, information particles, regulators, modulators and molecular cascades. These processes use genetic stimulation and alteration of protein shapes. The microbe integrates global signals such as sources of nutrients like carbon, but, also specifically what it needs, through hundreds of signaling pathways.
From Jacopo Werther
Microbes communicate by injecting proteins into a cell through various secretory mechanisms. Some of these look like phage viruses or a syringe. In fact, bacteria make viruses to send messages. These proteins have a wide range of effects inside the cell including altering the scaffolding; altering membranes and the signaling from the membranes; altering the tagging systems that allow the cell to destroy microbes; and direct alteration of DNA function to change proteins inside the cell. In clinical settings, they send plasmids (circular DNA) that causes antibiotic resistance.
Human cells engage in intelligent warfare with microbes—both using the tagging system of ubuiqutin. They are, also, able to send signals with specially produced RNAs. They use many cytokine signals with skin, intestine and immune cells.
Viruses Positive and Negative Communication with Bacteria
Mucous is an important buffer zone between trillions of possibly dangerous bacteria and the intestinal lining cell. Through signaling, friendly protective bacteria and fungi are allowed to live there and fight dangerous microbes.
Viruses can use the machinery of the cell to create toxins or antitoxins, for back and forth communication and attacks.
The Remarkable Language of Cells
All cells demonstrate a very high degree of intelligence in their communication with other cells. There are a remarkable amount of different ways that they communicate: touching, cytokines, neurotransmitters, RNAs, peptides, genes, kinocidins, hormones, vesicles, photons, electricity, and nanotubes. Communication can involve hundreds of different signals back and forth.
It is difficult to imagine how cells can do this without a version of mind in each cell.