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Autocrine signalling is one of the four main types of cell signalling.

Autocrine signalling involves the cell secreting an autocrine agent (normally a hormone or chemical messenger) which binds to the receptors on the same cell releasing the molecule.

This is the mode of action of many growth hormones. When the release of the growth hormones is unregulated it can lead to the formation of tumours.

An example of an autocrine agent is Cytokine Interleukin -1 in monocytes. This agent is released due to response in external stimuli and it binds to the same cell that released it bringing about a change in that cell[1].


  1. Jeannette Naish et al. (2009). Medical Sciences. Saunders Elsevier. Page 65

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