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