Collective cell migration is absolutely essential for a wide variety of physiological episodes including the re-epithelialisation component of tissue repair. However, the investigation of such processes has been frustrated by difficulties in quantitatively analysing the behaviours of a large body of cells within a migrating epithelial sheet, which previously required manually tracking a large number of individual cells, or using advanced computational techniques. Here, we describe a novel and simpler image subtraction method with which we can visualise and quantify collective cell mobilisation as a ‘white wave’ that propagates back from the leading edge of a scratch-wounded monolayer of cultured epithelial cells. Using this technique, we show that actomyosin constriction negatively regulates cell mobilisation and that the advancement of cell sheets and the mobilisation of rows of cells behind their leading edges are independently regulated. We also show that there is a finite limit to the number of rows of cells mobilised after wounding. Moreover, our data suggest that enhancing cell mobilisation, by release from myosin II contractility, accelerates the healing of large wounds in the long term, thus raising the possibility that the cell mobilisation ‘wave’ we reveal here might be a therapeutic target for improving wound healing.
|Translated title of the contribution
|White wave analysis of epithelial scratch wound healing reveals how cells mobilise back from the leading edge in a myosin-II-dependent fashion
|1017 - 1021
|Number of pages
|Journal of Cell Science
|Published - Apr 2011