Journal of cell science

Studies of chemotactic factor-induced polarity in human neutrophils. Lipid mobility, receptor distribution and the time-sequence of polarization.

PMID 1808201


Differences in membrane composition between the anterior and posterior poles of human blood neutrophils on exposure to chemoattractant were studied using a laser microscope, and the effects of attractant concentration and time on the ability of neutrophils to polarize were determined. The findings were as follows. (1) The fluorescein-labelled chemotactic hexapeptide fLeu-Norleu-Phe-Norleu-Tyr-Lys was asymmetrically distributed on polarized cells with the highest concentration at the anterior pole of the cell. (2) Differences in membrane lipid behaviour were studied by fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) using the probe 5-N-(octadecanoyl)-aminofluorescein. Recovery curves suggested that the proportion of mobile lipid probe at the anterior pole of the cell was higher than at the posterior. However, no difference was found in the rate of recovery between the two poles. (3) Studies of the time-course of polarization were undertaken using neutrophils in suspension exposed to different isotropic concentrations of fMet-Leu-Phe (fMLP). At low concentrations (less than or equal to 10(-9) M), the cells polarized immediately on exposure to the attractant. At a high concentration (10(-7) M) they assumed multipolar morphologies and polarized very poorly, suggesting that ligand binding was too rapid for the cells to form a dominant pole. At the optimal concentration, 10(-8) M fMLP, the cells assumed irregular, ruffled, morphologies after 30s, but showed an increasing proportion of polarized forms over the next 30 min.(ABSTRACT TRUNCATED AT 250 WORDS)