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Long range physical cell-to-cell signalling via mitochondria inside membrane nanotubes: a hypothesis


Scholkmann, Felix (2016). Long range physical cell-to-cell signalling via mitochondria inside membrane nanotubes: a hypothesis. Theoretical Biology and Medical Modelling, 13(1):16.

Abstract

Coordinated interaction of single cells by cell-to-cell communication (signalling) enables complex behaviour necessary for the functioning of multicellular organisms. A quite newly discovered cell-to-cell signalling mechanism relies on nanotubular cell-co-cell connections, termed "membrane nanotubes" (MNTs). The present paper presents the hypothesis that mitochondria inside MNTs can form a connected structure (mitochondrial network) which enables the exchange of energy and signals between cells. It is proposed that two modes of energy and signal transmission may occur: electrical/electrochemical and electromagnetic (optical). Experimental work supporting the hypothesis is reviewed, and suggestions for future research regarding the discussed topic are given.

Abstract

Coordinated interaction of single cells by cell-to-cell communication (signalling) enables complex behaviour necessary for the functioning of multicellular organisms. A quite newly discovered cell-to-cell signalling mechanism relies on nanotubular cell-co-cell connections, termed "membrane nanotubes" (MNTs). The present paper presents the hypothesis that mitochondria inside MNTs can form a connected structure (mitochondrial network) which enables the exchange of energy and signals between cells. It is proposed that two modes of energy and signal transmission may occur: electrical/electrochemical and electromagnetic (optical). Experimental work supporting the hypothesis is reviewed, and suggestions for future research regarding the discussed topic are given.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Journal Article, refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:04 Faculty of Medicine > University Hospital Zurich > Clinic for Neonatology
Dewey Decimal Classification:610 Medicine & health
Language:English
Date:2016
Deposited On:31 Aug 2016 14:30
Last Modified:02 Feb 2018 10:19
Publisher:BioMed Central
ISSN:1742-4682
OA Status:Gold
Free access at:PubMed ID. An embargo period may apply.
Publisher DOI:https://doi.org/10.1186/s12976-016-0042-5
PubMed ID:27267202

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