Contact Inhibition

  • Jan Pontén
Part of the Cancer book series (C, volume 4)


Cells which grow attached to a solid substrate can ordinarily both migrate and divide. Normally the two processes can be inhibited by close cell-to-cell contact. The term “contact inhibition,” originally coined to mean only a restraint of locomotion imposed on cells which make contact with each other (Abercrombie and Heaysman, 1954), has also been employed to denote inhibition of mitosis (cf. Stoker and Rubin, 1967). There is no indication that spread of tumors is in any direct way dependent on cell division; however, it seems reasonable to assume that capacity to metastasize is related to the migratory behavior of cells in vitro (cf. Abercrombie and Ambrose, 1962). This chapter will describe contact-dependent control of locomotion of normal and neoplastic cells in vitro and attempt to analyze whether lack of such control mechanisms is related to spread of tumor cells as seen in the living organism.


Sarcoma Cell Attachment Point Contact Inhibition Glia Cell Rous Sarcoma Virus 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1975

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jan Pontén
    • 1
  1. 1.The Wallenberg LaboratoryUniversity of UppsalaUppsalaSweden

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