Mechanistic and experimental models of cell migration reveal the importance of intercellular interactions in cell invasion

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Oleksii MatisakaMatthew J Simpson


Moving fronts of cells are essential for development, repair and disease progression. Therefore, understanding and quantifying the details of the mechanisms that drive the movement of cell fronts is of wide interest. Quantitatively identifying the role of intercellular interactions, and in particular the role of cell pushing, remains an open question. Indeed, perhaps the most common continuum mathematical idealization of moving cell fronts is to treat the population of cells, either implicitly or explicitly, as a population of point particles undergoing a random walk that neglects intercellular interactions. In this work, we report a combined experimental-modelling approach showing that intercellular interactions contribute significantly to the spatial spreading of a population of cells. We use a novel experimental data set with PC-3 prostate cancer cells that have been pretreated with Mitomycin-C to suppress proliferation. This allows us to experimentally separate the effects of cell migration from cell proliferation, thereby enabling us to focus on the migration process in detail as the population of cells recolonizes an initially-vacant region in a series of two-dimensional experiments. We quantitatively model the experiment...Continue Reading

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