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Autocrine signaling is a form of signaling in which a cell secretes a hormone or chemical messenger (called the autocrine agent) that binds to autocrine receptors on the same cell, leading to changes in the cells.[1] This can be contrasted with paracrine signaling, intracrine signaling, or classical endocrine signaling.



An example of an autocrine agent is the cytokine interleukin-1 in monocytes. When this is produced in response to external stimuli, it can bind to cell-surface receptors on the same cell that produced it.[citation needed]

Another example occurs in activated T cell lymphocytes, i.e. when a T cell is induced to mature by binding to a peptide:MHC complex on a professional antigen presenting cell and by the B7:CD28 costimulatory signal. Upon activation, "low affinity" IL-2 receptors are replaced by "high affinity" IL-2 receptors consisting of α, β, and γ chains. The cell then releases IL-2 which binds to its own new IL-2 receptors, causing self-stimulation and ultimately a monoclonal population of T cells. These T cells can then go on to perform effector functions such as macrophage activation, B cell activation, and cell-mediated cytoxicity.[citation needed]

See also

External links


  1. ^ Pandit, Nikita K.: "Introduction to the pharmaceutical sciences", page 238, 2007


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