The construction of a network of cell-to-cell contacts makes it possible to characterize the patterns and spatial organisation of tissues. Such networks are highly dynamic, depending on the changes of the tissue architecture caused by cell division, death and migration. Local competitive and cooperative cell-to-cell interactions influence the choices cells make. We review the literature on quantitative data of epithelial tissue topology and present a dynamical network model that can be used to explore the evolutionary dynamics of a two dimensional tissue architecture with arbitrary cell-to-cell interactions. In particular, we show that various forms of experimentally observed types of interactions can be modelled using game theory. We discuss a model of cooperative and non-cooperative cell-to-cell communication that can capture the interplay between cellular competition and tissue dynamics. We conclude with an outlook on the possible uses of this approach in modelling tumorigenesis and tissue homeostasis.
- Quantitative Biology - Tissues and Organs, Quantitative Biology - Populations and Evolution