Material Type:
Community College / Lower Division, College / Upper Division
Ohio Open Ed Collaborative
Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial
Media Formats:

Cell Communication Introduction Resources

Cell Communication Introduction Resources


As with people, it is vital for individual cells to be able to interact with their environment. In order to properly respond to external stimuli, cells have developed complex mechanisms of communication that can receive a message, transfer the information across the plasma membrane, and then produce changes within the cell in response to the message. In multicellular organisms, cells send and receive chemical messages constantly to coordinate the actions of distant organs, tissues, and cells. The ability to send messages quickly and efficiently enables cells to coordinate and fine-tune their functions.

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives:

  • Biology I: V2 – Outline representative mechanisms that cells have evolved for communicating and coordinating their functions in a living organism; V4 – Apply knowledge of cellular regulatory mechanisms to explanations of aberrant cell behavior

  • Biology II: II8 – Describe the structure and function of the nervous system, the musculoskeletal system, the respiratory system, and the mechanisms of internal transport and regulation in various organisms; V1 – Explain how regulatory mechanisms at the level of the whole organism ensure balance in living systems that interact continuously with their environments; compare regulatory mechanisms within and across species.

Recommended Textbook Resources

OpenStax Biology 2e Chapter 9Biology 2e


Signaling Molecules and Cellular Receptors
Propagation of the Signal
Response to the Signal
Signaling in Single-Celled Organisms

Student Assessment Activities

Cell Communication: Assessment


1. Group Project:

Prepare a 5 slide minimum presentation on one of the following conditions that involve faulty cell communication. Include: A) a brief summary of the disease; B) which signaling pathway is affected; C) how the faulty communication is responsible for the signs/symptoms of the disorder; D) how the treatment, if any, corrects the faulty signaling. Here is a good starting resource: ( Check with you instructor if you would like to select a different topic than these suggested:
Heroin addiction
Alzheimer’s disease
Manic depression

2. In-Class Project:

A) Find the correct answers to Review Questions #5 to 14 on page 276. Note the page of Chapter 42 on which you found the answer.  Be prepared to share your group’s answers with the rest of the learning community.

B) Find the correct answers to Review Questions #15 to 22 on page 277. Note the page of Chapter 42 on which you found the answer. Be prepared to share your group’s answers with the rest of the learning community.

3. Outside of Class Homework:

Answer the following Critical Thinking Questions on page 277 and 278: 23, 25, 27, 28, 31, 34, 35