Sustained Oscillations of Epithelial Cell Sheets



Peyret G, Mueller R, d’Alessandro J, Begnaud S, Marcq P, M├Ęge RM, Yeomans JM, Doostmohammadi A, Ladoux B



Biophysical Journal

2019 Aug 6


Morphological changes during development, tissue repair, and disease largely rely on coordinated cell movements and are controlled by the tissue environment. Epithelial cell sheets are often subjected to large-scale deformation during tissue formation. The active mechanical environment in which epithelial cells operate have the ability to promote collective oscillations, but how these cellular movements are generated and relate to collective migration remains unclear. Here, combining in vitro experiments and computational modeling, we describe a form of collective oscillations in confined epithelial tissues in which the oscillatory motion is the dominant contribution to the cellular movements. We show that epithelial cells exhibit large-scale coherent oscillations when constrained within micropatterns of varying shapes and sizes and that their period and amplitude are set by the smallest confinement dimension. Using molecular perturbations, we then demonstrate that force transmission at cell-cell junctions and its coupling to cell polarity are pivotal for the generation of these collective movements. We find that the resulting tissue deformations are sufficient to trigger osillatory mechanotransduction of YAP within cells, potentially affecting a wide range of cellular processes.