1. That which carries a message.

2. Having message-carrying properties.

first messenger, a hormone that binds to a receptor on the surface cell and, in so doing, communicates with intracellular metabolic processes.

second messenger, an intermediary molecule that is generated as a consequence of hormone-receptor interaction; e.g., see adenosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate; guanosine 3',5'-cyclic monophosphate; calcium; inositide.

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