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Cell Rep. 2019 Feb 5;26(6):1489-1500.e3. doi: 10.1016/j.celrep.2019.01.039.

In Vivo Quantitative Imaging Provides Insights into Trunk Neural Crest Migration.

Author information

1
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA.
2
Department of Kinesiology, University of Texas at Arlington, Arlington, TX 76019, USA.
3
Division of Biology and Biological Engineering, California Institute of Technology, Pasadena, CA 91125, USA. Electronic address: mbronner@caltech.edu.

Abstract

Neural crest (NC) cells undergo extensive migrations during development. Here, we couple in vivo live imaging at high resolution with custom software tools to reveal dynamic migratory behavior in chick embryos. Trunk NC cells migrate as individuals with both stochastic and biased features as they move dorsoventrally to form peripheral ganglia. Their leading edge displays a prominent fan-shaped lamellipodium that reorients upon cell-cell contact. Computational analysis reveals that when the lamellipodium of one cell touches the body of another, the two cells undergo "contact attraction," often moving together and then separating via a pulling force exerted by lamellipodium. Targeted optical manipulation shows that cell interactions coupled with cell density generate a long-range biased random walk behavior, such that cells move from high to low density. In contrast to chain migration noted at other axial levels, the results show that individual trunk NC cells navigate the complex environment without tight coordination between neighbors.

KEYWORDS:

contact-attraction; individual cell migration; quantitative imaging; trunk neural crest

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