Do pioneer cells exist?

Simpson, Matthew, Haridas, Parvathi, & McElwain, Sean (2014) Do pioneer cells exist? PLOS ONE, 9(1), e85488.

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Most mathematical models of collective cell spreading make the standard assumption that the cell diffusivity and cell proliferation rate are constants that do not vary across the cell population. Here we present a combined experimental and mathematical modeling study which aims to investigate how differences in the cell diffusivity and cell proliferation rate amongst a population of cells can impact the collective behavior of the population. We present data from a three–dimensional transwell migration assay which suggests that the cell diffusivity of some groups of cells within the population can be as much as three times higher than the cell diffusivity of other groups of cells within the population. Using this information, we explore the consequences of explicitly representing this variability in a mathematical model of a scratch assay where we treat the total population of cells as two, possibly distinct, subpopulations. Our results show that when we make the standard assumption that all cells within the population behave identically we observe the formation of moving fronts of cells where both subpopulations are well–mixed and indistinguishable. In contrast, when we consider the same system where the two subpopulations are distinct, we observe a very different outcome where the spreading population becomes spatially organized with the more motile subpopulation dominating at the leading edge while the less motile subpopulation is practically absent from the leading edge. These modeling predictions are consistent with previous experimental observations and suggest that standard mathematical approaches, where we treat the cell diffusivity and cell proliferation rate as constants, might not be appropriate.

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ID Code: 64894
Item Type: Journal Article
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Cell motility, Cell proliferation, Mathematical model, Cancer, Wound healing
DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0085488
ISSN: 1932-6203
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > MATHEMATICAL SCIENCES (010000) > APPLIED MATHEMATICS (010200) > Biological Mathematics (010202)
Divisions: Current > Institutes > Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation
Current > Schools > School of Mathematical Sciences
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Science & Engineering Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 Simpson et al.
Copyright Statement: This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.
Deposited On: 01 Dec 2013 22:26
Last Modified: 15 Apr 2014 14:05

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