A form of cell signaling in which a cell secretes an autocrine agent (e.g. hormone or chemical messenger) that binds to autocrine receptors on the same cell, leading to changes in the cell.
An example of an autocrine agent is the cytokine interleukin-1 in monocytes. When this is produced in response to external stimuli, it can bind to cell-surface receptors on the same cell that produced it.
Word origin: “autos” = self.
Compare: paracrine signaling.