Signaling Endosome Hypothesis: A Cellular Mechanism for Long Distance Communication

Charles L. Howe, William C. Mobley

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

148 Scopus citations


The kinetics of signaling endosome retrograde transport along axons is analyzed and offered as evidence that such transport is more efficient than diffusion or calcium wave-based signaling systems over even relatively small distances. Evidence is provided to support the signaling endosome hypothesis and to expand the hypothesis to include signaling in many cell types and many cellular dimensions. Finally, a saltatory, regenerating inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate wave model is offered to reconcile current discrepancies in the literature regarding endosomal-based retrograde signaling.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)207-216
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 5 2004


  • Axon
  • Calcium
  • Clathrin-coated vesicle
  • Diffusion
  • Early endosome
  • Inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate
  • Neuron
  • Neurotrophic factor hypothsesis
  • Neurotrophin
  • Retrograde transport
  • Signaling endosome hypothesis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Cellular and Molecular Neuroscience


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