Normal and Tumoral Melanocytes Exhibit q-Gaussian Random Search PatternsReport as inadecuate

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In multicellular organisms, cell motility is central in all morphogenetic processes, tissue maintenance, wound healing and immune surveillance. Hence, failures in its regulation potentiates numerous diseases. Here, cell migration assays on plastic 2D surfaces were performed using normal Melan A and tumoral B16F10 murine melanocytes in random motility conditions. The trajectories of the centroids of the cell perimeters were tracked through time-lapse microscopy. The statistics of these trajectories was analyzed by building velocity and turn angle distributions, as well as velocity autocorrelations and the scaling of mean-squared displacements. We find that these cells exhibit a crossover from a normal to a super-diffusive motion without angular persistence at long time scales. Moreover, these melanocytes move with non-Gaussian velocity distributions. This major finding indicates that amongst those animal cells supposedly migrating through Lévy walks, some of them can instead perform q-Gaussian walks. Furthermore, our results reveal that B16F10 cells infected by mycoplasmas exhibit essentially the same diffusivity than their healthy counterparts. Finally, a q-Gaussian random walk model was proposed to account for these melanocytic migratory traits. Simulations based on this model correctly describe the crossover to super-diffusivity in the cell migration tracks.

Author: Priscila C. A. da Silva, Tiago V. Rosembach, Anésia A. Santos, Márcio S. Rocha, Marcelo L. Martins



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