11Intercellular Communication and Tissue Architecture
Multicellular organisms such as the human body consist of various tissues such as epithelial tissues, bones and nerves, and organs such as heart and liver The key to the formation of these tissues and organs is adhesion between cells and that between cells and extracellular matrix. Besides building tissues and organs, cell adhesion plays a number of important roles including intercellular communication through cell adhesion and the reception of various extracellular signals.
In this chapter, we first look at the mechanism of cell adhesion and the structure of extracellular matrix components - the targets of the adhesion. Then, the roles that cell adhesion plays in the functions of various cells and in tissue architecture are discussed.