Collective cell migration in development

J Cell Biol. 2016 Jan 18;212(2):143-55. doi: 10.1083/jcb.201508047.


During embryonic development, tissues undergo major rearrangements that lead to germ layer positioning, patterning, and organ morphogenesis. Often these morphogenetic movements are accomplished by the coordinated and cooperative migration of the constituent cells, referred to as collective cell migration. The molecular and biomechanical mechanisms underlying collective migration of developing tissues have been investigated in a variety of models, including border cell migration, tracheal branching, blood vessel sprouting, and the migration of the lateral line primordium, neural crest cells, or head mesendoderm. Here we review recent advances in understanding collective migration in these developmental models, focusing on the interaction between cells and guidance cues presented by the microenvironment and on the role of cell-cell adhesion in mechanical and behavioral coupling of cells within the collective.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication
  • Cell Movement*
  • Embryonic Development*
  • Embryonic Induction
  • Models, Biological