Organizer (cell)

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Embryonic organizers or organizing centers are cells located in certain regions of the embryo coordinating morphogenesis which communicate with each other "via a network of secreted signaling proteins, such as bone morphogenetic proteins and their antagonists (chordin and noggin)."[1]

Role in morphogenesis

Biochemistry of organizers

Communication between organizers

Role in the morphogenetic singularity theory

For more details, see morphogenetic singularity theory

The morphogenetic singularity theory, published in 1989,[2] predicted that organizers have three characteristics:

  • Organizing centers have high electrical conductance and current density
  • Organizing centers have high density of gap junctions
  • At the macroscopic level, organizing centers are singular points in the morphogen gradient and electric field

These predictions, formulated by the author of the hypothesis, Charles Shang, from the Emory University School of Medicine (and formerly from the Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology of Harvard University) were later verified. Shang proposes that acupuncture points originate from organizers.[3]


  1. Medical Subject Heading Database, National Library of Medicine, "Organizers, Embryonic"
  2. Shang C (1989). "Singular point, organizing center and acupuncture point". Am. J. Chin. Med. 17: 119–27. PMID 2561250.
  3. Shang C (2001). "Electrophysiology of growth control and acupuncture". Life Sci. 68: 1333–42. PMID 11388686.