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Induction of Optical Density Waves and Chemotactic Cell Movement inDictyostelium discoideumby Microinjection of cAMP Pulses

By Jens Rietdorf, Florian Siegert and Cornelis J Weijer


AbstractThe development of most multicellular organisms involves coordinated cell movement. The early aggregation of Dictyostelium cells has been shown to be mediated by chemotactic movement to propagating waves of cAMP. We have proposed that propagating waves of a chemoattractant, most likely cAMP, also control the movement of cells in mounds and slugs. We have now used periodic pressure injection of pulses of cAMP in the extracellular space of aggregation streams, mounds, and slugs to investigate whether these signals can be relayed and control cell movement, using quantitative digital time-lapse microscopy. Our major findings are (1) short (0.1 s) pulses of cAMP (107molecules) were able to elicit optical density (OD) waves in fields of aggregating amoebae. They propagate from the micropipet outward and interact with endogenous OD waves. (2) Periodic injection of cAMP pulses into aggregation streams blocked the pulses coming from the center and led to the rapid accumulation of cells downstream of the pipet around the pipet. (3) Injection of pulses of cAMP into mounds elicited OD waves, which propagated from the pipet outward and interacted with the endogenous waves, indicating that the same propagator carries them. (4) Periodic microinjection of cAMP in the prespore zone of slugs led to accumulation of anterior-like cells around the micropipet followed by tip formation. Furthermore, the cAMP signal could control the spacing of the endogenous sorting pattern. These results strongly support the hypothesis that the optical density waves observed during early development up to the mound stage represent propagating cAMP waves. They suggest furthermore that cAMP is the morphogen that controls cell movements in slugs

Publisher: Academic Press.
Year: 1998
DOI identifier: 10.1006/dbio.1998.9088
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