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Biophys J. Oct 1976; 16(10): 1171–1182.
PMCID: PMC1334931

Chemotropism indices for polymorphonuclear leukocytes.

Abstract

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.

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Selected References

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