Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
FEMS Microbiol Immunol. 1990 Dec;2(5-6):303-11.

How do leucocytes perceive chemical gradients?

Author information

  • 1Bacteriology and Immunology Department, University of Glasgow (Western Infirmary), U.K.


Chemoattractants determine not only the direction of leucocyte locomotion (chemotaxis) but also its speed (chemokinesis). Various mechanisms by which leucocytes may detect chemotactic gradients, including spatial and temporal detection, are briefly reviewed. These mechanisms as originally proposed did not address the question how attractants cause leucocytes to migrate in persistent random paths in the absence of a gradient. Stochastic models have recently been presented in which leucocytes either respond by polarizing and migrating in the direction from which they receive their first signal, or respond to random fluctuations in the perceived attractant concentration. Stochastic models allow an explanation for the persistent random walk shown by cells in uniform concentrations of attractant as well as for directional locomotion in gradients. They suggest that, at the biochemical level, the mechanisms by which attractants stimulate chemotaxis and chemokinesis are probably the same.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for HighWire
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk