Cell division in tissues enables macrophage infiltration

Science. 2022 Apr 22;376(6591):394-396. doi: 10.1126/science.abj0425. Epub 2022 Apr 21.


Cells migrate through crowded microenvironments within tissues during normal development, immune response, and cancer metastasis. Although migration through pores and tracks in the extracellular matrix (ECM) has been well studied, little is known about cellular traversal into confining cell-dense tissues. We find that embryonic tissue invasion by Drosophila macrophages requires division of an epithelial ectodermal cell at the site of entry. Dividing ectodermal cells disassemble ECM attachment formed by integrin-mediated focal adhesions next to mesodermal cells, allowing macrophages to move their nuclei ahead and invade between two immediately adjacent tissues. Invasion efficiency depends on division frequency, but reduction of adhesion strength allows macrophage entry independently of division. This work demonstrates that tissue dynamics can regulate cellular infiltration.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Adhesion / physiology
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Drosophila
  • Extracellular Matrix / metabolism
  • Focal Adhesions* / metabolism
  • Integrins* / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism


  • Integrins