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Dev Biol. 1983 Feb;95(2):497-504.

Guidance of myogenic cell migration by oriented deposits of fibronectin.


Fibronectin mediates myoblast-substratum attachment; one region of the molecule binds directly to the cell surface, while others bind to collagen, glycosaminoglycans, and other fibronectin molecules. There is evidence to suggest that fibronectin-containing extracellular matrices guide cell migration in vivo. We describe a method for producing regular deposits of fibronectin in vitro that can serve as a model system for studying cell-substrate interactions, cell orientation, and contact guidance. The novel culture substrate is prepared by allowing an aqueous solution of fibronectin and urea to dry in a culture dish and then washing away the urea crystals. Myogenic cells in vitro adhere to, align with, and migrate along, parallel streaks of fibronectin. This leads to the formation of myotubes that are long and thin, with little branching. Myogenic clones are highly elongated in the direction of the deposits, in contrast with the roughly circular clones seen in conventional cultures. Fibroblasts and limb bud mesenchymal cells align with fibronectin deposits, assuming a bipolar shape.

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