A high-throughput, multiplexed cellular platform to study cell-cell signalling networks

A high-throughput, multiplexed cellular platform to study cell-cell signalling networks

Networks of interacting cells regulate the biology and pathology of all mammalian tissues, including positive–negative selection in adaptive immune responses, tumor–stromal–vascular interactions during cancer progression and stem cell-niche interactions during development and adulthood.

Within these intercellular signalling networks, the relative number and spatial organization of diverse cell types contributes to the behavior of the system as a whole. The capacity to reconstitute in vitro these networks of interacting cells, or cell communities, would offer new insights into the logic and dynamics of collective cell-decision making.

To investigate the logic and dynamics of cell–cell signalling networks, researchers prepared heterotypic cell–cell interaction arrays using DNA-programmed adhesion.
 
The platform specifies the number and initial position of up to four distinct cell types within each array and offers tunable control over cell-contact time during long-term culture.

Authors use the platform to study the dynamics of single adult neural stem cell fate decisions in response to competing juxtacrine signals. The results suggest a potential signalling hierarchy between Delta-like 1 and ephrin-B2 ligands, as neural stem cells adopt the Delta-like 1 phenotype of stem cell maintenance on simultaneous presentation of both signals.

http://www.nature.com/ncomms/2016/160112/ncomms10309/full/ncomms10309.html
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