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Biophys J. 1993 Jun;64(6):1922-33.

Granulocyte-endothelium initial adhesion. Analysis of transient binding events mediated by E-selectin in a laminar shear flow.

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  • 1Laboratoire d'Immunologie, Hôpital de Sainte-Marguerite, Marseille, France.


The adhesion of moving cells to receptor-bearing surfaces is a key step to many important biological processes. Attachment was subjected to extensive modeling. However, the numerical values of kinetic bonding parameters relevant to realistic models of cell adhesion remain poorly known. In this report, we describe the motion of human granulocytes to interleukin-1-activated endothelial cells in presence of a low hydrodynamic drag (a few piconewtons) estimated to be much weaker than a standard ligand-receptor bond. It was thus expected to visualize the formation and rupture of individual bonds. We observed multiple short-time cell arrests with a median duration of 2.43 s. Stop frequency, not duration, was significantly inhibited by anti-E-selectin antibodies. Binding efficiency exhibited an almost linear relationship with the inverse of cell velocity. The distribution of arrest duration was determined: results were consistent with the view that these arrests reflected the formation/dissociation of single ligand-receptor bonds with a spontaneous dissociation rate of 0.5 s-1. The rate of bond formation was on the order of 0.04 s-1 when cells were freely rolling (mean velocity: 19 microns/s) and it exhibited an approximately 10-fold increase after the formation of a first adhesion.

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