Logo of biophysjLink to Publisher's site
Biophys J. Oct 1976; 16(10): 1171–1182.
PMCID: PMC1334931

Chemotropism indices for polymorphonuclear leukocytes.


Trajectories of polymorphonuclear leukocytes which are responding to a chemical gradient are analyzed in order to deduce probability distributions of the angles between successive path segments. The turn angle probability distributions thus obtained are seen to be strongly dependent on the direction of locomotion prior to a turn, in that cells usually turn to maintain alignment along an axis directed towards the chemoattractant source. A mathematical model based on these observations is developed in order to understand the relationship between net chemotactic response and parameters characterizing stochastic movements of individual cells. In particular, the manner in which the chemotropism index depends on details of the turn-angle distributions is examined. When bias in the direction of turn is induced by a chemotactic field, transition from random motion to directed response occurs most abruptly if the turn-angle distribution is narrow. "Accommodation," viz., a dependence of the mean angle of turn upon prior orientation, is found to have relatively little effect on the magnitude of the response.

Full text

Full text is available as a scanned copy of the original print version. Get a printable copy (PDF file) of the complete article (1.0M), or click on a page image below to browse page by page. Links to PubMed are also available for Selected References.

Selected References

These references are in PubMed. This may not be the complete list of references from this article.
  • Berg HC, Brown DA. Chemotaxis in Escherichia coli analysed by three-dimensional tracking. Nature. 1972 Oct 27;239(5374):500–504. [PubMed]
  • Bokisch VA, Müller-Eberhard HJ, Cochrane CG. Isolation of a fragment (C3a) of the third component of human complement containing anaphylatoxin and chemotactic activity and description of an anaphylatoxin inactivator of human serum. J Exp Med. 1969 May 1;129(5):1109–1130. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • HARRIS H. Mobilization of defensive cells in inflammatory tissue. Bacteriol Rev. 1960 Mar;24(1):3–15. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Miller ME. Cell movement and host defenses. Ann Intern Med. 1973 Apr;78(4):601–603. [PubMed]
  • Nossal R, Weiss GH. A descriptive theory of cell migration on surfaces. J Theor Biol. 1974 Sep;47(1):103–111. [PubMed]
  • Phelps P. Polymorphonuclear leukocyte motility in vitro. 3. Possible release of a chemotactic substance after phagocytosis of urate crystals by polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Arthritis Rheum. 1969 Jun;12(3):197–204. [PubMed]
  • Schiffmann E, Corcoran BA, Wahl SM. N-formylmethionyl peptides as chemoattractants for leucocytes. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1975 Mar;72(3):1059–1062. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Shin HS, Snyderman R, Friedman E, Mellors A, Mayer MM. Chemotactic and anaphylatoxic fragment cleaved from the fifth component of guinea pig complement. Science. 1968 Oct 18;162(3851):361–363. [PubMed]
  • Stecher VJ, Sorkin E, Ryan GB. Relation between blood coagulation and chemotaxis of leucocytes. Nat New Biol. 1971 Sep 15;233(37):95–96. [PubMed]
  • Ward PA, Cochrane CG, Muller-Eberhard HJ. Further studies on the chemotactic factor of complement and its formation in vivo. Immunology. 1966 Aug;11(2):141–153. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ward PA, Lepow IH, Newman LJ. Bacterial factors chemotactic for polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Am J Pathol. 1968 Apr;52(4):725–736. [PMC free article] [PubMed]
  • Ward PA, Remold HG, David JR. Leukotactic factor produced by sensitized lymphocytes. Science. 1969 Mar 7;163(3871):1079–1081. [PubMed]
  • Zigmond SH. Mechanisms of sensing chemical gradients by polymorphonuclear leukocytes. Nature. 1974 May 31;249(456):450–452. [PubMed]
  • Zigmond SH, Hirsch JG. Leukocyte locomotion and chemotaxis. New methods for evaluation, and demonstration of a cell-derived chemotactic factor. J Exp Med. 1973 Feb 1;137(2):387–410. [PMC free article] [PubMed]

Articles from Biophysical Journal are provided here courtesy of The Biophysical Society


Related citations in PubMed

See reviews...See all...

Cited by other articles in PMC

See all...


  • PubMed
    PubMed citations for these articles

Recent Activity

Your browsing activity is empty.

Activity recording is turned off.

Turn recording back on

See more...