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Br J Haematol. 1998 Jun;101(4):659-65.

Chemotaxis of macrophages is abolished in the Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome.

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MRC Muscle and Cell Motility Unit, The Randall Institute, Kings College London.


Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is a rare disease characterized by microthrombocytopenia, eczema and immune deficiency. In this study a direct-viewing chemotaxis chamber was used to analyse chemotactic responses of WAS neutrophils and macrophages in stable linear concentration gradients. In five patients with classic WAS, chemotaxis of macrophages but not of neutrophils was found to be abolished, whereas the speed of random motility of both cell types was found to be indistinguishable from control cells. This supports the existence of an essential functional link, previously suggested by biochemical studies, between Cdc42, WAS protein (WASp) and the actin cytoskeleton in primary human macrophages. Moreover, these data suggest that Cdc42-WASp-mediated filopodial extension is a requirement for chemotaxis but not for chemokinesis in these cells. Abnormal directional cell motility of macrophages and related antigen-presenting cells may play a significant part in the immune deficiency and eczema of WAS.

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