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Cell Density Determines Epithelial Migration in Culture

Philip Rosen and Dayton S. Misfeldt
Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America
Vol. 77, No. 8, [Part 2: Biological Sciences] (Aug., 1980), pp. 4760-4763
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/9186
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Cell Density Determines Epithelial Migration in Culture
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Abstract

The dog kidney epithelial cell line (MDCK) has been shown to exhibit a density-correlated inhibition of growth at approximately 6.6× 105 cells per cm2. When a confluent monolayer at its maximal density was wounded by removal of a wide swath of cells, migration of the cell sheet into the denuded area occurred. Precise measurements of the rate of migration for 5 days showed that the cells accelerated at a uniform rate of 0.24 μ m· hr-2 and, by extrapolation, possessed an apparent initial velocity of 2.8 μ m· hr-1 at the time of wounding. The apparent initial velocity was considered to be the result of a brief (<10 hr) and rapid acceleration dependent on cell density. To verify this, wounds were made at different densities below the maximum. In these experiments, the cells did not migrate until a ``threshold'' density of 2.0× 105 cells per cm2 was reached regardless of the density at the time of wounding. At the threshold density, the cell sheet began to accelerate at the previously measured rate (0.24 μ m· hr-2). Any increase in density by cell division was balanced by cell migration, so that the same threshold density was maintained by the migrating cells. Each migrating cell sustained the movement of the cell sheet at a constant rate of acceleration. It is proposed that an acceleration is, in general, characteristic of the vectorial movement of an epithelial cell sheet.

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