Recent experimental work involving Dictyostelium discoideum seems to contradict several theoretical models. Experiments suggest that localization of the release of the chemoattractant cyclic adenosine monophosphate to the uropod of the cell is important for stream formation during aggregation. Yet several mathematical models are able to reproduce streaming as the cells aggregate without taking into account localization of the chemoattractant. A careful analysis of the experiments and the theory suggests the two major features of the system which are important to stream formation are random cell motion and chemotaxis to regions of higher cell density. Random cell motion acts to reduce streaming, whereas chemotaxis to regions of higher cell density reinforces streaming. With this understanding, the experimental results can be explained in a manner consistent with the theoretical results. In all the experiments, alterations in the two main factors of random motion and chemotaxis to regions of higher cell density, not the localization of the release of the chemoattractant, can explain the results as they relate to streaming. Additionally, a comparison of results from a mathematical model that simulates cells which localize the chemoattractant and cells which do not shows little difference in the streaming patterns.
Original Publication Citation
Bulletin of Mathematical Biology 73(7)
BYU ScholarsArchive Citation
Dallon, J. C.; Dalton, Brittany; and Malani, Chelsea, "Understanding Streaming in Dictyostelium discoideum: Theory versus Experiments" (2011). All Faculty Publications. 2714.
Physical and Mathematical Sciences
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