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.