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Researchers unlock mysteries of cell migration in wound healing

23rd June 2015

Research published in the journal Nature have uncovered the process by which cells migrate during the wound-healing process.

Researchers at the University of Arizona used regenerative medicine to isolate the mechanics behind collective cell migration. They found that where cells have been destroyed at a wound site, empty, cell-free space is left behind and a protein molecule (DII4) is activated. This molecule coordinates nearby cells to move to the wound site and begin to produce new tissue. The researchers also identified a process by which cells become identified as ‘leader’ and/or ‘follower’ cells.

Taken as a whole, the research suggests that a reduction of mechanical force near the wound edge induces the protein molecule to control the density of so-called leader cells in collective cell migration.

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