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Phys Biol. 2011 Aug;8(4):045004. doi: 10.1088/1478-3975/8/4/045004. Epub 2011 Jul 12.

Collective cell migration guided by dynamically maintained gradients.

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  • 1European Molecular Biology Laboratory, Meyerhofstrasse 1, 69117 Heidelberg, Germany. streicha@embl.de

Abstract

How cell collectives move and deposit subunits within a developing embryo is a question of outstanding interest. In many cases, a chemotactic mechanism is employed, where cells move up or down a previously generated attractive or repulsive gradient of signalling molecules. Recent studies revealed the existence of systems with isotropic chemoattractant expression in the lateral line primordium of zebrafish. Here we propose a mechanism for a cell collective, which actively modulates an isotropically expressed ligand and encodes an initial symmetry breaking in its velocity. We derive a closed solution for the velocity and identify an optimal length that maximizes the tissues' velocity. A length dependent polar gradient is identified, its use for pro-neuromast deposition is shown by simulations and a critical time for cell deposition is derived. Experiments to verify this model are suggested.

PMID:
21750360
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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