Tactile interactions lead to coherent motion and enhanced chemotaxis of migrating cells

Coburn, L., Cerone, L., Torney, C. , Couzin, I. D. and Neufeld, Z. (2013) Tactile interactions lead to coherent motion and enhanced chemotaxis of migrating cells. Physical Biology, 10(4), 046002. (doi:10.1088/1478-3975/10/4/046002) (PMID:23752100)

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When motile cells come into contact with one another their motion is often considerably altered. In a process termed contact inhibition of locomotion (CIL) cells reshape and redirect their movement as a result of cell–cell contact. Here we describe a mathematical model that demonstrates that CIL alone is sufficient to produce coherent, collective cell migration. Our model illustrates a possible mechanism behind collective cell migration that is observed, for example, in neural crest cells during development, and in metastasizing cancer cells. We analyse the effects of varying cell density and shape on the alignment patterns produced and the transition to coherent motion. Finally, we demonstrate that this process may have important functional consequences by enhancing the accuracy and robustness of the chemotactic response, and factors such as cell shape and cell density are more significant determinants of migration accuracy than the individual capacity to detect environmental gradients.

Item Type:Articles
Glasgow Author(s) Enlighten ID:Torney, Dr Colin
Authors: Coburn, L., Cerone, L., Torney, C., Couzin, I. D., and Neufeld, Z.
College/School:College of Science and Engineering > School of Mathematics and Statistics > Mathematics
Journal Name:Physical Biology
Publisher:IOP Publishing
ISSN (Online):1478-3975
Published Online:11 June 2013

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