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J Theor Biol. 2003 May 21;222(2):247-59.

Simulating convergent extension by way of anisotropic differential adhesion.

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Department of Physics, University of Notre Dame, 225 Nieuwland Science Hall, IN 46556, USA.


Simulations using the Extended Potts Model suggest that anisotropic differential adhesion can account for convergent extension, as observed during embryonic development of the frog Xenopus laevis for example. During gastrulation in these frogs, convergent extension produces longitudinal tissue growth from latitudinal elongation and migration of aligned constituent cells. The Extended Potts Model employs clustered points on a grid to represent subdivided cells with probabilistic displacement of cell boundaries such that small changes in energy drive gradual tissue development. For modeling convergent extension, simulations include anisotropic differential adhesion: the degree of attachment between adjacent elongated cells depends on their relative orientation. Without considering additional mechanisms, simulations based on anisotropic differential adhesion reproduce the hallmark stages of convergent extension in the correct sequence, with random fluctuations as sufficient impetus for cell reorganization.

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