Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

How Cells Move: Cooperative Forces Boost Collective Mobility Of Cells

Date:
May 11, 2009
Source:
Universidad de Barcelona
Summary:
Scientists now have an experimental answer to the question of how cells move during biological processes as diverse as the development, metastasis, or regeneration of tissues. The work addresses the issue of collective mobility of cells, that is to say, how cells are moved within tissues, and what is the prevalent form of movement inside living organisms.

Collective cell mobility is the result of a cooperative process.
Credit: Image courtesy of Universidad de Barcelona

Research by scientists in Spain and their colleagues offers for the first time an experimental answer to the question of how cells move during biological processes as diverse as the development, metastasis, or regeneration of tissues.

The work addresses the issue of collective mobility of cells, that is to say, how cells are moved within tissues, and what is the prevalent form of movement inside living organisms.

"Research into collective cell mobility is very active due to the direct implications it has on fields such as embryologic development, organ regeneration, and cancer. For example, if we could find a way to control cell mobility during metastasis, cancer would be a curable disease in the majority of cases," says Dr. Xavier Trepat, senior researcher of the cellular and respiratory biomechanics group and researcher in the Department of Physiological Sciences at the University of Barcelona, and in the Networking Biomedical Research Centre for respiratory diseases (CIBER).

Up until now, scientists had proposed various mechanisms to explain collective cell migration. One hypothesis for example, suggests that the cells move collectively due to the existence of “leader” cells, which stretch out in the rest of the group, like a train pulls carriages behind it. Another hypothesis suggests that each cell moves independently to those around it, like cars on the motorway during a traffic jam, or like soldiers in a military parade. “We have rejected both these possibilities,” says Trepat.

According to his research, collective cell mobility is the result of a cooperative process in which each cell contributes to the movement of the group, stretching to those around it. “It is a mechanism similar to a tug-of-war game, in which two teams pull a rope by its extremes and the team that pulls the hardest wins. During the game, each player generates force and transmits it to the rope, so that the tension in the rope is the sum of the forces generated by each member of the team. Cells do the same. Each cell generates force to stretch to its neighbours in the direction of the movement» explains the researcher.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Universidad de Barcelona. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Xavier Trepat, Michael R. Wasserman, Thomas E. Angelini, Emil Millet, David A. Weitz, James P. Butler & Jeffrey J. Fredberg. Physical forces during collective cell migration. Nature Physics, 2009; DOI: 10.1038/nphys1269

Cite This Page:

Universidad de Barcelona. "How Cells Move: Cooperative Forces Boost Collective Mobility Of Cells." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 May 2009. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506152803.htm>.
Universidad de Barcelona. (2009, May 11). How Cells Move: Cooperative Forces Boost Collective Mobility Of Cells. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 21, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506152803.htm
Universidad de Barcelona. "How Cells Move: Cooperative Forces Boost Collective Mobility Of Cells." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/05/090506152803.htm (accessed October 21, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

White Lion Cubs Born in Belgrade Zoo

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — Two white lion cubs, an extremely rare subspecies of the African lion, were recently born at Belgrade Zoo. They are being bottle fed by zoo keepers after they were rejected by their mother after birth. Duration: 00:42 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

Traditional Farming Methods Gaining Ground in Mali

AFP (Oct. 20, 2014) — He is leading a one man agricultural revolution in Mali - Oumar Diatabe uses traditional farming methods to get the most out of his land and is teaching others across the country how to do the same. Duration: 01:44 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Goliath Spider Will Give You Nightmares

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — An entomologist stumbled upon a South American Goliath Birdeater. With a name like that, you know it's a terrifying creepy crawler. Sean Dowling (@SeanDowlingTV) has the details. Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com
Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Adorable Video of Baby Rhino and Lamb Friend Playing

Buzz60 (Oct. 20, 2014) — Gertjie the Rhino and Lammie the Lamb are teaching the world about animal conservation and friendship. TC Newman (@PurpleTCNewman) has the adorable video! Video provided by Buzz60
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins