Autocrine signaling involved in cell volume regulation: the role of released transmitters and plasma membrane receptors

Rodrigo Franco, Mihalis I Panayiotidis, Lenin D Ochoa de la Paz

    Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

    32 Citations (Scopus)


    Cell volume regulation is a basic homeostatic mechanism transcendental for the normal physiology and function of cells. It is mediated principally by the activation of osmolyte transport pathways that result in net changes in solute concentration that counteract cell volume challenges in its constancy. This process has been described to be regulated by a complex assortment of intracellular signal transduction cascades. Recently, several studies have demonstrated that alterations in cell volume induce the release of a wide variety of transmitters including hormones, ATP and neurotransmitters, which have been proposed to act as extracellular signals that regulate the activation of cell volume regulatory mechanisms. In addition, changes in cell volume have also been reported to activate plasma membrane receptors (including tyrosine kinase receptors, G-protein coupled receptors and integrins) that have been demonstrated to participate in the regulatory process of cell volume. In this review, we summarize recent studies about the role of changes in cell volume in the regulation of transmitter release as well as in the activation of plasma membrane receptors and their further implications in the regulation of the signaling machinery that regulates the activation of osmolyte flux pathways. We propose that the autocrine regulation of Ca2+-dependent and tyrosine phosphorylation-dependent signaling pathways by the activation of plasma membrane receptors and swelling-induced transmitter release is necessary for the activation/regulation of osmolyte efflux pathways and cell volume recovery. Furthermore, we emphasize the importance of studying these extrinsic signals because of their significance in the understanding of the physiology of cell volume regulation and its role in cell biology in vivo, where the constraint of the extracellular space might enhance the autocrine or even paracrine signaling induced by these released transmitters.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)14-28
    Number of pages15
    JournalJournal of Cellular Physiology
    Issue number1
    Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008


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