, Volume 217, Issue 1-3, pp 5-12
Date: 19 Sep 2007

Introduction: A Tribute to Cell-to-Cell Channels

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Pascal’s saying “The heart has its reasons which reason knows not” is well known. According to him, the mind thinks in two ways, the mathematical way (l’esprit geometrique) and the finer, subtler way (l’esprit de finesse). In the latter case we see and feel the truth. The truth or the idea — that a homeostatic mechanism mediated by communication through cell-to-cell channels governs the growth and differentiation of cells and that this mechanism is gradually weakened and eventually breached during the pathogenesis of several diseases, including cancer — was proposed by Professor Werner Loewenstein several decades ago, to whom this volume is dedicated. From time immemorial, a theory or hypothesis has inspired human intellect by prescribing to it the goal to which experimental evidence must approximate, if it is true to itself. Upon discovering a pathway that directly interconnected the cytoplasmic interiors of contiguous epithelial cells (Kanno & Loewenstein 1964b, 1966; Loe ...