Unidirectional displacement of cells in fibrillar matrices

C A Boocock
1989 Development  
It has long been recognised that the alignment of fibrils of an extracellular matrix can guide cell displacement along an axis. However, bidirectional guidance alone is insufficient to explain the directed translocation of cell populations in an embryo. Evidence is presented here that matrix fibrils can also be arranged to confer a unidirectional bias on cell displacement. When chick heart fibroblasts were cultured between two collagen matrices pretreated by shearing, the displacements of these
more » ... cells were biased in the direction opposite to that of pre-shear. A possible explanation is that cells detect the directional arrangement of fibrils linked to a rigid surface. Results of a second experiment suggested that cells can indeed respond directionally to the linkage of fibrils to rigid surfaces. Cells spreading on the surface of matrices were aligned perpendicular to the edge of a rigid body embedded just beneath the surface. For cells close to this body, the effect of linkage was able to override guidance as the more important orienting cue. 'DESMOTAXIS' is suggested as a suitable name for the unidirectional movement of cells in response to the arrangement of fibrils relative to a rigid, anchoring surface. In the embryo, several factors could generate such arrangements of extracellular matrices around relatively solid structures. These possibilities are discussed with reference to directed cell migrations in vivo.
pmid:2632238 fatcat:tdi5ld5jfbh47mw56xy4w6d42y