Collective cell motion in endothelial monolayers

A. Szabó, R. Ünnep, E. Méhes, W. O. Twal, W. S. Argraves, Y. Cao, A. Czirók

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

109 Citations (Scopus)


Collective cell motility is an important aspect of several developmental and pathophysiological processes. Despite its importance, the mechanisms that allow cells to be both motile and adhere to one another are poorly understood. In this study we establish statistical properties of the random streaming behavior of endothelial monolayer cultures. To understand the reported empirical findings, we expand the widely used cellular Potts model to include active cell motility. For spontaneous directed motility we assume a positive feedback between cell displacements and cell polarity. The resulting model is studied with computer simulations and is shown to exhibit behavior compatible with experimental findings. In particular, in monolayer cultures both the speed and persistence of cell motion decreases, transient cell chains move together as groups and velocity correlations extend over several cell diameters. As active cell motility is ubiquitous both in vitro and in vivo, our model is expected to be a generally applicable representation of cellular behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Article number046007
JournalPhysical Biology
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biophysics
  • Structural Biology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Cell Biology

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    Szabó, A., Ünnep, R., Méhes, E., Twal, W. O., Argraves, W. S., Cao, Y., & Czirók, A. (2010). Collective cell motion in endothelial monolayers. Physical Biology, 7(4), [046007].