2018 Volume 13 Issue 4 Pages 17-00507
Deformability of epithelial tissues plays a crucial role in embryogenesis, homeostasis, wound healing, and disease. The deformability is determined by the mechanical balance between active force generation and passive response of cells. However, little is known about how multiple cells in epithelial tissues passively respond to external forces. Using a 3D vertex model, we performed computational simulations of longitudinal tension and compression tests of an epithelial tube. Under tension, the tube extended with necking as exhibiting cell rearrangements that play a role in reducing local stiffness of the tube. On the other hand, under compression, the tube buckled with kinking without cell rearrangements. The cell rearrangements occurred when apical and basal cell surfaces stored elastic deformation energies. These results illustrate the variance of deformation modes of epithelial tissues in the single cell level as well as the importance of cell rearrangements in regulating epithelial deformability.