Spermatozoa of marine invertebrates are attracted to their conspecific female gamete by diffusive molecules, called chemoattractants, released from the egg investments in a process known as chemotaxis. The information from the egg chemoattractant concentration field is decoded into intracellular Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) changes that regulate the internal motors that shape the flagellum as it beats. By studying sea urchin species-specific differences in sperm chemoattractant-receptor characteristics we show that receptor density constrains the steepness of the chemoattractant concentration gradient detectable by spermatozoa. Through analyzing different chemoattractant gradient forms, we demonstrate for the first time that Strongylocentrotus purpuratus sperm are chemotactic and this response is consistent with frequency entrainment of two coupled physiological oscillators: i) the stimulus function and ii) the [Ca2+]i changes. We demonstrate that the slope of the chemoattractant gradients provides the coupling force between both oscillators, arising as a fundamental requirement for sperm chemotaxis.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Adán Guerrero
- Alberto Darszon
- Adán Guerrero
- Alberto Darszon
- Carmen Beltran
- Idan Tuval
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All of the animals were handled according to approved institutional animal care and use committee protocols (# 44, 142, 188, 193, 285) of the Instituto de Biotecnología of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México.
- Raymond E Goldstein, University of Cambridge, United Kingdom
© 2020, Ramírez-Gómez et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Human cerebral organoids are unique in their development of progenitor-rich zones akin to ventricular zones from which neuronal progenitors differentiate and migrate radially. Analyses of cerebral organoids thus far have been performed in sectioned tissue or in superficial layers due to their high scattering properties. Here, we demonstrate label-free three-photon imaging of whole, uncleared intact organoids (~2 mm depth) to assess early events of early human brain development. Optimizing a custom-made three-photon microscope to image intact cerebral organoids generated from Rett Syndrome patients, we show defects in the ventricular zone volumetric structure of mutant organoids compared to isogenic control organoids. Long-term imaging live organoids reveals that shorter migration distances and slower migration speeds of mutant radially migrating neurons are associated with more tortuous trajectories. Our label-free imaging system constitutes a particularly useful platform for tracking normal and abnormal development in individual organoids, as well as for screening therapeutic molecules via intact organoid imaging.
Directional cell locomotion requires symmetry breaking between the front and rear of the cell. In some cells, symmetry breaking manifests itself in a directional flow of actin from the front to the rear of the cell. Many cells, especially in physiological 3D matrices do not show such coherent actin dynamics and present seemingly competing protrusion/retraction dynamics at their front and back. How symmetry breaking manifests itself for such cells is therefore elusive. We take inspiration from the scallop theorem proposed by Purcell for micro-swimmers in Newtonian fluids: self-propelled objects undergoing persistent motion at low Reynolds number must follow a cycle of shape changes that breaks temporal symmetry. We report similar observations for cells crawling in 3D. We quantified cell motion using a combination of 3D live cell imaging, visualization of the matrix displacement and a minimal model with multipolar expansion. We show that our cells embedded in a 3D matrix form myosin-driven force dipoles at both sides of the nucleus, that locally and periodically pinch the matrix. The existence of a phase shift between the two dipoles is required for directed cell motion which manifests itself as cycles with finite area in the dipole-quadrupole diagram, a formal equivalence to the Purcell cycle. We confirm this mechanism by triggering local dipolar contractions with a laser. This leads to directed motion. Our study reveals that these cells control their motility by synchronizing dipolar forces distributed at front and back. This result opens new strategies to externally control cell motion as well as for the design of micro-crawlers.