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Science. 1991 Nov 1;254(5032):703-6.

Calcium gradients underlying polarization and chemotaxis of eosinophils.

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  • 1Department of Physiology, University of Massachusetts Medical School, Worcester 01605.


The concentration of intracellular free calcium ([Ca2+]i) in polarized eosinophils was imaged during chemotaxis by monitoring fluorescence of the calcium-sensitive dye Fura-2 with a modified digital imaging microscope. Chemotactic stimuli caused [Ca2+]i to increase in a nonuniform manner that was related to cell activity. In cells moving persistently in one direction, [Ca2+]i was highest at the rear and lowest at the front of the cell. Before cells turned, [Ca2+]i transiently increased. The region of the cell that became the new leading edge had the lowest [Ca2+]i. These changes in [Ca2+]i provide a basis for understanding the organization and local activity of cytoskeletal proteins thought to underlie the directed migration of many cells.

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