May 29, 2020

Rules of Contact Inhibition of Locomotion for Cells on Suspended Nanofibers

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology


Contact inhibition of locomotion (CIL), in which cells repolarize and move away from contact, is now established as a fundamental driving force in development, repair, and disease biology. Much of what we know of CIL stems from studies on 2D substrates that fail to provide an essential biophysical cue - the curvature of extracellular matrix fibers. We discover rules controlling outcomes of cell-cell collisions on suspended nanofibers, and show them to be profoundly different from the stereotyped CIL behavior known on 2D substrates. Two approaching cells attached to a single fiber do not repolarize upon contact but rather usually migrate past one another. Fiber geometry modulates this behavior: when cells are attached to two fibers, reducing their freedom to reorient, only one of a pair of colliding cells repolarizes on contact, leading to the cell pair migrating as a single unit. CIL outcomes also change when one cell has recently divided and moves with high speed- cells more frequently walk past each other. In collisions with division in the two-fiber geometry, we also capture rare events where a daughter cell pushes the non-dividing cell along the fibers. Our computational model of CIL in fiber geometries reproduces the core ...Continue Reading

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