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J Leukoc Biol. 2018 Jan;103(1):67-70. doi: 10.1189/jlb.1AB0617-230R. Epub 2017 Dec 28.

Rolling neutrophils form tethers and slings under physiologic conditions in vivo.

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La Jolla Institute for Allergy and Immunology, La Jolla, California, USA.
Department of Physiology, Charite Universitatsmedizin, Berlin, Germany.


Human and mouse neutrophils are known to form tethers when rolling on selectins in vitro. Tethers are ∼0.2 μm thin, ∼5-10 μm-long structures behind rolling cells that can swing around to form slings that serve as self-adhesive substrates. Here, we developed a mouse intravital imaging method, where the neutrophil surface is labeled by injecting fluorescently labeled mAb to Ly-6G. Venules in the cremaster muscle of live mice were imaged at a high frame rate using a confocal microscope equipped with a fast resonant scanner. We observed 270 tethers (median length 3.5 μm) and 31 slings (median length 6.9 µm) on 186 neutrophils of 15 mice. Out of 199 tether break events, 123 were followed by immediate acceleration of the rolling cell, which shows that tethers are load-bearing structures in vivo. In venules with a high wall shear stress (WSS; > 12 dyn/cm2 ), median rolling velocity was higher (19 μm/s), and 43% of rolling neutrophils had visible tethers. In venules with WSS < 12 dyn/cm2 , only 26% of rolling neutrophils had visible tethers. We conclude that neutrophil tethers are commonly present and stabilize rolling in vivo.


P-selectin; PSGL-1; load-bearing; venule


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