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Journal of neuroscience methods

Microfluidic platform to evaluate migration of cells from patients with DYT1 dystonia.


PMID 24880044

Abstract

Microfluidic platforms for quantitative evaluation of cell biologic processes allow low cost and time efficient research studies of biological and pathological events, such as monitoring cell migration by real-time imaging. In healthy and disease states, cell migration is crucial in development and wound healing, as well as to maintain the body's homeostasis. The microfluidic chambers allow precise measurements to investigate whether fibroblasts carrying a mutation in the TOR1A gene, underlying the hereditary neurologic disease--DYT1 dystonia, have decreased migration properties when compared to control cells. We observed that fibroblasts from DYT1 patients showed abnormalities in basic features of cell migration, such as reduced velocity and persistence of movement. The microfluidic method enabled us to demonstrate reduced polarization of the nucleus and abnormal orientation of nuclei and Golgi inside the moving DYT1 patient cells compared to control cells, as well as vectorial movement of single cells. We report here different assays useful in determining various parameters of cell migration in DYT1 patient cells as a consequence of the TOR1A gene mutation, including a microfluidic platform, which provides a means to evaluate real-time vectorial movement with single cell resolution in a three-dimensional environment.