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Immunobiology. 1999 Sep;201(1):107-19.

Colcemid but not taxol modulates the migratory behavior of human T lymphocytes within 3-D collagen lattices.

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Institute of Immunology, University of Witten/Herdecke, Witten, Germany.


T cell migration within tissue requires engagement of the cytoskeleton, however, little is known about the functional role of both actin- and tubulin-based cytoskeleton in this process. We investigated the direct effect of microtubule disruption and stabilization using colcemid and taxol, respectively, on the locomotion of peripheral human T cells within three-dimensional (3-D) collagen lattices. Microtubules network disassembly very potently enhanced T cell migration, nearly doubling the fraction of locomoting cells. Both a recruitment of previously sessile cells as well as an increase in the mean duration of active locomotion contributed to the promigratory effect. The stimulatory effect was correlated with the loss of the integrity of the tubulin cytoskeleton. Reassembly of microtubules, subsequent to the removal of colcemid from the cells, resulted in the successive return of the migratory activity to baseline levels. On the contrary, taxol failed to modulate T cell migration in our in vitro assay despite its potency to assemble tubulin into compact clots. Our observations underscore the view that tubulin-dependent cellular deformability is not the rate-limiting factor for locomotion and provide evidence that the increase in migratory activity subsequent to colcemid-treatment is due to a secondary phenomenon, most likely the activation of the actin cytoskeleton.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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