The International Journal of Developmental Biology

Int. J. Dev. Biol. 65: 357 - 364 (2021)

Vol 65, Issue 4-5-6

Special Issue: Developmental Biology in Ibero-America - Part 2

Inducing your neighbors to become like you: cell recruitment in developmental patterning and growth

Published: 25 August 2020

Luis M. Muñoz-Nava, Marycruz Flores-Flores and Marcos Nahmad*

Department of Physiology, Biophysics, and Neurosciences, Center for Research and Advanced Studies of the National Polytechnical Institute (Cinvestav-IPN), Mexico


Cell differentiation, proliferation, and morphogenesis are generally driven by instructive signals that are sent and interpreted by adjacent tissues, a process known as induction. Cell recruitment is a particular case of induction in which differentiated cells produce a signal that drives adjacent cells to differentiate into the same type as the inducers. Once recruited, these new cells may become inducers to continue the recruitment process, closing a feed-forward loop that propagates the growth of a specific cell-type population. So far, little attention has been given to cell recruitment as a developmental mechanism. Here, we review the components of cell recruitment and discuss its contribution to development in three different examples: the Drosophila wing, the vertebrate inner ear, and the mammalian thyroid gland. Finally, we posit some open questions about the role of cell recruitment in organ patterning and growth.


cell recruitment, patterning, growth, Drosophila wing, inner ear, thyroid

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