Terry Machen
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  Paul Sammak, Lee Hinman, Phuong Tran, Michael Sjaastad, and Terry Machen (1997). How do injured cells communicate with the surviving cell monolayer? J Cell Science. 110, 465-475.

      Mechanically scratching cell monolayers relieves contact inhibition and induces surviving cells near the wound edge to move and proliferate. The present work was designed to test whether surviving cells passively respond to newly available space, or whether cells are actively stimulated by signals from injured cells nearby. We monitored intracellular free Ca2+ ([Ca2+]i) while scratching confluent monolayers of bovine pulmonary endothelial cells and mouse mammary epithelial cells. Within seconds after wounding, a transient elevation of [Ca2+]i was observed in surviving cells. In endothelial cells, the [Ca2+]i elevation propagated into the monolayer for a distance of 10 to 12 cell rows at a speed of 20 to 28 µm/second. The amplitude of the wave of [Ca2+]i was reduced as it propagated into the monolayer, but the velocity of the wave was nearly constant. Cells that experienced the [Ca2+]i elevation had intact plasma membranes, and survived for over 24 hours post wounding. Removing extracellular Ca2+ decreased the amplitude by two-thirds and reduced the propagation rate by half, suggesting that Ca2+ influx contributed to the increased [Ca2+]i. To determine how [Ca2+]i waves were stimulated, we blocked extracellular communication by fluid perfusion or intercellular communication by breaks in the monolayer. In bovine pulmonary artery endothelial cultures, the [Ca2+]i wave passed over breaks in the monolayer, and was prevented from traveling upstream in a perfusion chamber. Conditioned media from injured cells also elevated [Ca2+]i in unwounded reporter cultures. In mouse mammary epithelial monolayers with established cell-cell contacts, the [Ca2+]i wave passed over breaks in the monolayer, but was only partially prevented from traveling upstream during perfusion. These experiments showed that mechanical wounds lead to long distance, [Ca2+]i-dependent communication between the injured cells and the surviving cell monolayer through at least two mechanisms: first, extracellular release of a chemical stimulus from wounded cells that diffused to neighboring cells (present in both monolayers); second, transmission of an intercellular signal through cell-cell junctions (present in the mammary epi-thelial monolayers). Thus, mechanical injury provided a direct, chemical stimulus to nearby cells which have not themselves been damaged.