The collective chemosensing of nonexcitable mammalian cells involves a biochemical network that features gap junction communications and heterogeneous single cell activities. To understand the integrated multicellular chemosensing, we study the calcium dynamics of micropatterned fibroblast cell colonies in response to adenosine triphosphate (ATP) stimulation. We find that the cross-correlation function between the responses of individual cells decays with topological distance as a power law for large colonies and much faster for smaller colonies. Furthermore, the strongly correlated cell pairs tend to form clusters and are more likely to exceed the percolation threshold. At a given topological distance, the cross-correlations exhibit characteristics of Poisson distributions, which allows us to estimate the unitary conductance of a single gap junction which is in good agreement with direct experimental measurements.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- General Physics and Astronomy