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Biophys J. 2004 Jul;87(1):688-95.

Controlled pseudopod extension of human neutrophils stimulated with different chemoattractants.

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Department of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science, Duke University, Durham, North Carolina 27708-0300, USA.


The formation of pseudopods and lamellae after ligation of chemoattractant sensitive G-protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) is essential for chemotaxis. Here, pseudopod extension was stimulated with chemoattractant delivered from a micropipet. The chemoattractant diffusion and convection mass transport were considered, and it is shown that when the delivery of chemoattractant was limited by diffusion there was a strong chemoattractant gradient along the cell surface. The diffusion-limited delivery of chemoattractant from a micropipet allowed for maintaining an almost constant chemoattractant concentration at the leading edge of single pseudopods during their growth. In these conditions, the rate of pseudopod extension was dependent on the concentration of chemoattractant in the pipet delivering chemoattractant. The pseudopod extension induced using micropipets was oscillatory even in the presence of a constant delivery of chemoattractant. This oscillatory pseudopod extension was controlled by activated RhoA and its downstream effector kinase ROCK and was abolished after the inhibition of RhoA activation with Clostridium botulinium C3 exoenzyme (C3) or the blocking of ROCK activation with Y-27632. The ability of the micropipet assay to establish a well-defined chemoattractant distribution around the activated cell over a wide range of molecular weights of the used chemoattractants allowed for comparison of the effect of chemoattractant stimulation on the dynamics of pseudopod growth. Pseudopod growth was stimulated using N-formylated peptide (N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP)), platelet activating factor (PAF), leukotriene B4 (LTB(4)), C5a anaphylotoxin (C5a), and interleukin-8 (IL-8), which represent the typical ligands for G-protein coupled chemotactic receptors. The dependence of the rate of pseudopod extension on the concentration of these chemoattractants and their equimolar mixture was measured and shown to be similar for all chemoattractants. The inhibition of the activity of phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3K) with wortmannin showed that 72%-80% of the rate of pseudopod extension induced with N-formyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine, platelet activating factor, and leukotriene B4 was phosphoinositide-3 kinase-dependent, in contrast to 55% of the rate of pseudopod extension induced with interleukin-8. The dependence of the rate of pseudopod extension on the concentration of individual chemoattractants and their equimolar mixture suggests that there is a common rate-limiting mechanism for the polymerization of cytoskeletal F-actin in the pseudopod region induced by G-protein coupled chemoattractant receptors.

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