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Vascular simulation research reveals new mechanism that switches in disease
Date:5/7/2014

x movements between cells in the sprout, which actually drives the cell rearrangement and tip cell competition," says Bentley. The team also found that during cancer development and progression, there is a switch: the regulation of the adhesion between cells becomes more uniform so that there are clustered regions of cells in an all-active or all-inhibited shuffling state.

"When we let Simulant cells loose in a simple simulated tumor environment, their collective behavior changed dramatically," says Bentley. "The cells go through cyclic phases of adhesion and junctional movements now as a group, in which they all clamber to move at once or all remain still. In either case they are getting nowhere as overtaking requires differential movement of one cell compared to its neighbors. The disrupted rearrangement provides a new explanation for the enlarged blood vessels we see in pathologies, such as in mouse models of tumors or retinopathies."

This research approach offers useful new principles for studying basic and complex questions about health and disease. "We hope that our work provides an example that cell level theory can be made accessible and, when integrated with experimentation, can help us unravel the complexities and dynamics of living systems and disease," adds Bentley.


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Contact: Bonnie Prescott
bprescot@bidmc.harvard.edu
617-667-7306
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Source:Eurekalert

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