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Nat Commun. 2018 Oct 5;9(1):4111. doi: 10.1038/s41467-018-06693-1.

Dynamic intercellular transport modulates the spatial patterning of differentiation during early neural commitment.

Author information

1
The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 30332, USA.
2
Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease, San Francisco, CA, 94158, USA. todd.mcdevitt@gladstone.ucsf.edu.
3
Department of Bioengineering & Therapeutic Sciences, University of California, San Francisco, CA, 94158, USA. todd.mcdevitt@gladstone.ucsf.edu.
4
The Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering, Georgia Institute of Technology and Emory University, Atlanta, GA, 30332, USA. melissa.kemp@bme.gatech.edu.

Abstract

The initiation of heterogeneity within a population of phenotypically identical progenitors is a critical event for the onset of morphogenesis and differentiation patterning. Gap junction communication within multicellular systems produces complex networks of intercellular connectivity that result in heterogeneous distributions of intracellular signaling molecules. In this study, we investigate emergent systems-level behavior of the intercellular network within embryonic stem cell (ESC) populations and corresponding spatial organization during early neural differentiation. An agent-based model incorporates experimentally-determined parameters to yield complex transport networks for delivery of pro-differentiation cues between neighboring cells, reproducing the morphogenic trajectories during retinoic acid-accelerated mouse ESC differentiation. Furthermore, the model correctly predicts the delayed differentiation and preserved spatial features of the morphogenic trajectory that occurs in response to intercellular perturbation. These findings suggest an integral role of gap junction communication in the temporal coordination of emergent patterning during early differentiation and neural commitment of pluripotent stem cells.

PMID:
30291250
PMCID:
PMC6173785
DOI:
10.1038/s41467-018-06693-1
[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

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