Math. Model. Nat. Phenom.
Volume 5, Number 1, 2010Cell migration
|106 - 122
|03 February 2010
The Role of Cell-Cell Adhesion in the Formation of Multicellular Sprouts
Department of Biological Physics, Eötvos University,
2 Department of Anatomy & Cell Biology, University of Kansas Medical Center Kansas City, KS, USA
* Corresponding author: firstname.lastname@example.org
Collective cell motility and its guidance via cell-cell contacts is instrumental in several morphogenetic and pathological processes such as vasculogenesis or tumor growth. Multicellular sprout elongation, one of the simplest cases of collective motility, depends on a continuous supply of cells streaming along the sprout towards its tip. The phenomenon is often explained as leader cells pulling the rest of the sprout forward via cell-cell adhesion. Building on an empirically demonstrated analogy between surface tension and cell-cell adhesion, we demonstrate that such a mechanism is unable to recruit cells to the sprout. Moreover, the expansion of such hypothetical sprouts is limited by a form of the Plateau-Taylor instability. In contrast, actively moving cells – guided by cell-cell contacts – can readily populate and expand linear sprouts. We argue that preferential attraction to the surfaces of elongated cells can provide a generic mechanism, shared by several cell types, for multicellular sprout formation.
Mathematics Subject Classification: 92C15 / 92C17 / 92C37
Key words: sprouting / leader cell / Potts model
© EDP Sciences, 2010
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