The mobility of embryonic chick cells and cells of four established cell lines was examined in cellular aggregates. This was done by preparing aggregates of unlabeled cells and allowing cells of the same type, but prelabeled with [3H]thymidine, to adhere to the surface of the aggregates. After 2-1/2 days in agitated liquid culture the positions of the labeled cells within the aggregates were determined by autoradiographic techniques. Since the labeled and unlabeled cells were otherwise identical, the degree of penetration of the labeled cells into the aggregates was taken as a measure of the mixing or mobility of cells in the aggregate. With this procedure, embryonic chick liver, heart, and neural retina cells were found to move an average of 2.12, 2.68, and 4.00 cell diameters inward, respectively. Mouse fibroblast BALB/c 3T3 cells moved an average of 1.13 cell diameters inward, while Simian virus 40 (SV40)-transformed BALB/c 3T3 cells moved as much as 8.80 cell diameters inward, indicating that cells of the malignant SV40-transformed line were considerably more mobile than the corresponding nonmalignant 3T3 cells. In contrast, cells of the hamster fibroblast line NIL B moved 4.17 cell diameters in 2-1/2 days, while SV40-transformed NIL B cells moved 3.00 cell diameters in the same time. It was therefore concluded that infection with oncogenic viruses does not necessarily result in increased cellular mobility.

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