Rapid mechanosensitive migration and dispersal of newly divided mesenchymal cells aid their recruitment into dermal condensates

Jon Riddell, Shahzeb Raja Noureen, Luigi Sedda, James D. Glover, William K. W. Ho, Connor A. Bain, Arianna Berbeglia, Helen Brown, Calum Anderson, Yuhang Chen, Michael L. Crichton, Christian A. Yates, Richard L. Mort, Denis J. Headon

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Abstract

Embryonic mesenchymal cells are dispersed within an extracellular matrix but can coalesce to form condensates with key developmental roles. Cells within condensates undergo fate and morphological changes and induce cell fate changes in nearby epithelia to produce structures including hair follicles, feathers, or intestinal villi. Here, by imaging mouse and chicken embryonic skin, we find that mesenchymal cells undergo much of their dispersal in early interphase, in a stereotyped process of displacement driven by 3 h of rapid and persistent migration followed by a long period of low motility. The cell division plane and the elevated migration speed and persistence of newly born mesenchymal cells are mechanosensitive, aligning with tissue tension, and are reliant on active WNT secretion. This behaviour disperses mesenchymal cells and allows daughters of recent divisions to travel long distances to enter dermal condensates, demonstrating an unanticipated effect of cell cycle subphase on core mesenchymal behaviour.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere3002316
JournalPLoS Biology
Volume21
Issue number9
DOIs
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 29 Aug 2023

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