Navigation Links
Unexpected discovery of the ways cells move could boost understanding of complex diseases
Date:6/23/2013

Boston, MA A new discovery about how cells move inside the body may provide scientists with crucial information about disease mechanisms such as the spread of cancer or the constriction of airways caused by asthma. Led by researchers at Harvard School of Public Health (HSPH) and the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), investigators found that epithelial cellsthe type that form a barrier between the inside and the outside of the body, such as skin cellsmove in a group, propelled by forces both from within and from nearby cellsto fill any unfilled spaces they encounter.

The study appears June 23, 2013 in an advance online edition of Nature Materials.

"We were trying to understand the basic relationship between collective cellular motions and collective cellular forces, as might occur during cancer cell invasion, for example. But in doing so we stumbled onto a phenomenon that was totally unexpected," said senior author Jeffrey Fredberg, professor of bioengineering and physiology in the HSPH Department of Environmental Health and co-senior investigator of HSPH's Molecular and Integrative Cellular Dynamics lab.

Biologists, engineers, and physicists from HSPH and IBEC worked together to shed light on collective cellular motion because it plays a key role in functions such as wound healing, organ development, and tumor growth. Using a technique called monolayer stress microscopywhich they invented themselvesthey measured the forces affecting a single layer of moving epithelial cells. They examined the cells' velocity and direction as well as tractionhow some cells either pull or push themselves and thus force collective movement.

As they expected, the researchers found that when an obstacle was placed in the path of an advancing cell layerin this case, a gel that provided no tractionthe cells moved around it, tightly hugging the sides of the gel as they passed. However, the researchers also found something surprisingthat the cells, in addition to moving forward, continued to pull themselves collectively back toward the gel, as if yearning to fill the unfilled space. The researchers dubbed this movement "kenotaxis," from the Greek words "keno" (vacuum) and "taxis" (arrangement), because it seemed the cells were attempting to fill a vacuum.

This new finding could help researchers better understand cell behaviorand evaluate potential drugs to influence that behaviorin a variety of complex diseases, such as cancer, asthma, cardiovascular disease, developmental abnormalities, and glaucoma. The finding could also help with tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, both of which rely on cell migration.

In carcinomas, for instancewhich represent 90% of all cancers and involve epithelial cellsthe new information on cell movement could improve understanding of how cancer cells migrate through the body. Asthma research could also get a boost, because scientists think migration of damaged epithelial cells in the lungs are involved in the airway narrowing caused by the disease.

"Kenotaxis is a property of the cellular collective, not the individual cell," said Jae Hun Kim, the study's first author. "It was amazing to us that the cellular collective can organize to pull itself systematically in one direction while moving systematically in an altogether different direction."


'/>"/>

Contact: Marge Dwyer
mhdwyer@hsph.harvard.edu
617-432-8416
Harvard School of Public Health
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Clues to heart disease in unexpected places, Temple researchers discover
2. Female mice exposed to BPA by mothers show unexpected characteristics
3. An ocean away: 2 new encrusting anemones found in unexpected locations
4. Princeton researchers identify unexpected bottleneck in the spread of herpes simplex virus
5. Wind concentrates pollutants with unexpected order in an urban environment
6. Unexpected discovery reveals a new mechanism for how the cerebellum extracts signal from noise
7. Unexpected crustacean diversity discovered in northern freshwater ecosystems
8. Discovery of how a gene that regulates factors involved in bacteria pathogenicity acts
9. Discovery of new material state counterintuitive to laws of physics
10. Discovery of the gene responsible for multiple intestinal atresia in newborns
11. Autism discovery paves way for early blood test and therapeutic options
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:11/21/2016)...   Neurotechnology , a provider of high-precision ... that the MegaMatcher On Card fingerprint matching algorithm ... NIST Minutiae Interoperability Exchange (MINEX) III ... of the evaluation protocol. The ... fingerprint templates used to establish compliance of template ...
(Date:11/17/2016)... 2016 Global Market Watch: Primarily supported ... Population-Based Banks and Academics) market is to witness a value ... shows the highest Compounded Annual Growth Rate (CAGR) of 10.75% ... the analysis period 2014-2020. North America ... by Europe at 9.56% respectively. ...
(Date:11/16/2016)... , Nov. 16, 2016 Sensory Inc ... and security for consumer electronics, and VeriTran ... and retail industry, today announced a global partnership ... way to authenticate users of mobile banking and ... TrulySecure™ software which requires no specialized biometric ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:11/30/2016)... and BEIJING , Nov. 30, 2016 ... provider of genomic services and solutions with cutting edge ... it has completed a USD $75 Million [515 Million ... Ltd.,s CMB International Capital Management ( Shenzhen ... Co., Ltd. ("SDIC Innovation") and Shanghai Sigma Square Investment ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... 30, 2016   Merck , a leading science ... into a set of agreements with Evotec AG, whereby ... of genetic reagents such as CRISPR and shRNA libraries. ... offers an accelerated pathway to explore and identify new ... identification of new targets, a process that can be ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Park, NC (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 ... ... company engaged in the development of a new orally administered treatment for Alzheimer’s ... and neuroimaging results of a Phase 2a clinical trial of T3D-959 in mild ...
(Date:11/30/2016)... Toronto, ON (PRWEB) , ... November 30, 2016 ... ... focused on discovery and development of precision treatments for neurodegenerative diseases, today announced ... disease (AD) (announced on November 3, 2016) blocked propagation of toxic, prion-like forms ...
Breaking Biology Technology: