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Asymmetric Segregation of Damaged Cellular Components in Spatially Structured Multicellular Organisms

Figure 4

Time development of a spatially organized cell population that divides symmetrically (a) and asymmetrically (b).

Initially, all cells have damage level , but soon clusters of damaged cells occur. The boundary between damaged and less damaged clusters performs a random walk with a drift towards the more damaged cells, since these are less likely to go apoptotic. Eventually the system will collapse to a state where all cells have damage level . This happens much sooner for a symmetrically dividing cell population than for one that divides asymmetrically. The parameters are: , , . Other choices of parameters yield similar results.

Figure 4