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Intercellular Communication - Endocrine and Nervous Systems

Compare and contrast the methods of intercellular communication of the endocrine and nervous systems.

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Communications in the nervous system are done through electrical signals that release either neurotransmitters or neurohormones. Neurotransmitters are chemicals secreted by neurons that upon electrical stimulation (neuronal depolarization) are released from synaptic vesicles into the synapse (a gap between neurons). From there, the neurotransmitters diffuse through the gap and bind to specific receptors on the membrane of the postsynaptic neuron (BrainExplorer.org, 2010). Examples of neurotransmitters are serotonin and acetylcholine. This type of intercellular signaling is known as synaptic signaling (Chemie.DE, 2010). The response is rapid and its action is brief (Bowen, 2001). Neurohormones are hormones secreted by neurons and released (through a similar mechanism as the neurotransmitters)directly into the blood stream in able to reach distant targeted cell(s) (Farabee, 2010). For example, the hypothalamus produces antidiuretic and oxytocin ...

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The solution includes a description of the intercellular communication method in the nervous and the endocrine system and examples on how each one works.

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