Previous studies have indicated that cell sorting and tissue spreading are caused by cell combination-specific differences in intercellular adhesive energies, acting in a system of motile cells. We wished to determine whether these adhesive energies could drive cell rearrangements as well as guide them. Accordingly, aggregates of intermixed embryonic cells were cultured in solutions of the drug cytochalasin B (CCB) at a concentration shown to inhibit the locomotion of cells on a solid surface. In addition, spherical aggregates of several kinds were cultured in mutual contact under similar conditions. Both cell sorting and tissue spreading were found to be inhibited. The prompt release of this inhibition upon removal of the CCB showed that the inhibited cells were not merely injured. Moreover, aggregation experiments showed that CCB did not prevent cells of several kinds from initiating mutual adhesions. In fact, heart cell aggregation was enhanced by CCB. We conclude that interfacial forces, originating outside the cell, act together with forces originating inside it in bringing about the morphogenetic movements of cell sorting and tissue spreading. We propose the term "cooperative cell locomotion" to describe translational movements of cells arising from such a combination of intrinsic and extrinsic forces.

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