Imaging of cell migration

EMBO J. 2006 Aug 9;25(15):3480-93. doi: 10.1038/sj.emboj.7601227.


Cell migration is an essential process during many phases of development and adult life. Cells can either migrate as individuals or move in the context of tissues. Movement is controlled by internal and external signals, which activate complex signal transduction cascades resulting in highly dynamic and localised remodelling of the cytoskeleton, cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions. To understand these processes, it will be necessary to identify the critical structural cytoskeletal components, their spatio-temporal dynamics as well as those of the signalling pathways that control them. Imaging plays an increasingly important and powerful role in the analysis of these spatio-temporal dynamics. We will highlight a variety of imaging techniques and their use in the investigation of various aspects of cell motility, and illustrate their role in the characterisation of chemotaxis in Dictyostelium and cell movement during gastrulation in chick embryos in more detail.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement*
  • Chemotaxis
  • Chick Embryo
  • Cytoskeleton / physiology
  • Cytoskeleton / ultrastructure
  • Dictyostelium / physiology
  • Gastrula / physiology
  • Microscopy / methods*
  • Microscopy / trends
  • Models, Biological
  • Signal Transduction