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Immunology. 1981 Nov;44(3):569-76.

Stimulation of Ca2+-dependent chemiluminescence in rat polymorphonuclear leucocytes by polystyrene beads and the non-lytic action of complement.


(1) Chemiluminenscence of rat polymorphonuclear leukocytes was stimulated by a phagocytic stimulus, latex beads (diameter = 1.01 micrometer). The maximum chemiluminescent intensity increased with bead concentration in the range 0.2--20 x 10(9) beads/ml. This response was abolished in the absence of extracellular Ca2+ (1 mM EGTA). (2) Chemiluminescence could also be stimulated by the Ca2+ ionophore A23187 in the presence of extra-cellular calcium. (3) Addition of human serum, as a source of complement, to rat polymorphonuclear leukocytes preincubated with anti-5'-nucleotidase serum resulted in a rapid stimulation of chemiluminescence, after a lag of about 40 s. (4) The stimulation of chemiluminescence by antibody plus complement was not the result of cell lysis because (i) no significant release of lactate dehydrogenase was detected at the time of the chemiluminescent response (ii) chemiluminescence was associated with the cells and not the surrounding media (iii) cell lysis did not produce chemiluminescence. (5) Chemiluminescence stimulated by antibody plus complement or by beads was inhibited by the 'calmodulin-blocker', trifluoperazine (50% inhibiton with approximately 20--30 microM). (6) Cu2+ (10(-4) M), which can inhibit C9 action, inhibited the rapid rise in chemiluminescence induced by antibody plus complement, but not the bead-induced chemiluminescence. (7) Depletion of C9 from human serum markedly inhibited the complement induced chemiluminescence response. Addition of purified C9 restored the response. (8) It was concluded that formation of the terminal complement attack complex at the surface of rat polymorphonuclear leucocytes induces a Ca2+-dependent chemiluminescence in the cells, in the absence of cell lysis.

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