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 September 17, 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 September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) — Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
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:
from the past week

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