We are happy to introduce a new publication featuring Nanolive’s 3D Cell Explorer produced by users at the University of Sydney, Australia.
Understanding the mechanisms that underlie cell-cell interactions holds the key to understanding how material is transferred and how cells communicate. This subject is important in a wide variety of cell biology fields, including cancer research. To date, most studies have focused on the role of tunnelling nanotubes, shed membrane vesicles and other transferring mechanisms in, for example, cancer progression. Studies unveiling new forms of material transfer are rare, but recent research by Hans Zoellner and colleagues has led to the proposition of “cell-projection pumping” (CPP), as a novel mechanism of intercellular cytoplasmic transfer and communication in mammalian cells. This mechanism is similar to the hydrodynamic mechanisms involved in lamellipodia and lobopodian formation and blebbing and may play an important role in a number of cellular processes, such as embryogenesis, development, inflammation and wound healing.
In CPP, temporary inter-cellular cytoplasmic continuities are observed as micro-fusions between the cytoplasm of retracting cell-projections and adjacent recipient cells. The hypothesized mechanism is supported by evidence from cell culture experiments and by computer simulations, which are detailed by the research team in their publication.
It would not have been possible to observe such interactions without the 3D Cell Explorer, which was used to take detailed images at 2 min intervals, of the fast-moving branching cell-projections on cell culture surfaces, for up to 19 hours.
The full publication and its additional material can be found here.