Periodicity and Chaos in cAMP, Hormonal, and Ca2+ Signalling
Rhythmic, pulsatile signals are repeatedly encountered in intercellular communication (Goldbeter, 1988, 1990). Besides neurons and muscle cells which communicate by trains of electrical impulses, examples range from the generation of cyclic AMP (cAMP) pulses in the slime mold Dictyostelium discoideum (Gerisch, 1987) to the pulsatile release of a large number of hormones (Crowley and Hofler, 1987; Wagner and Filicori, 1987). While in all these instances the oscillatory dynamics characterizes the extracellular signal, recent observations indicate that signal transduction itself may be based on oscillations of intracellular messengers. Thus, many hormones or neurotransmitters act on target cells by triggering a train of intracellular Ca2+ spikes (Berridge et al., 1988).
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