Calcium oscillations coordinate feather mesenchymal cell movement by SHH dependent modulation of gap junction networks

" In this study we observed dynamic changes of bioelectric currents in developing chicken embryos. Before feather bud elongation, EF endogenous to dorsal skin was relatively homogenous and exhibited inward directionality. At the onset of elongation, outward electric current emerged at the anterior side of each feather bud, implying a heterogenization of the EF into multiple smaller electric circuits. Tissue-wide long-range Ca 2+ oscillations were observed in bud mesenchyme. Dampening these oscillations or introduction of exogenous oscillations altered feather morphology. Feather mesenchymal cell movement changes direction markedly when voltage-gated Ca 2+ channels (VGCCs) or gap junctions were inhibited."

It must be taken in consideration that the collective oscillations of Ca2+ ions can generate endogenous electromagnetic fields and that there are serious indications that there is information encoded both in the ampliftude modulation and in the frequency modulation of Ca2+ oscillations [1]:

Decoding is used by the cell to interpret the information carried by the Ca2 + oscillation []. This information deciphering occurs when one or several intracellular molecules sense the signal and change their activities accordingly. The process is similar to electromagnetic radiation being received by an antenna on a radio and translated into sound. Mathematical modeling of a generic Ca2 + sensitive protein has shown that it is possible to decode Ca2 + oscillations on the basis of the frequency itself, the duration of the single transients or the amplitude."

[1] Smedler, Erik, and Per Uhlén. "Frequency decoding of calcium oscillations." Biochimica Et Biophysica Acta (BBA)-General Subjects 1840.3 (2014): 964-969.

Last modified on 24-Dec-18

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