The Journal of biological chemistry

Neutrophil hyperpolarization in response to a chemotactic peptide.

PMID 2162827


The chemotactic peptide formylmethionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine (fMLP), at concentrations below 10(-9) M, elicits a sustained increase in the human neutrophil's membrane potential within 10 s of its addition. This hyperpolarization, detected with the fluorescent cationic potentiometric probes, 3,3'-dipentyloxacarbocyanine (diO-C5-(3)), and 1,1'-dipropyl-3,3,3',3'-tetramethylindocarbocyanine iodide (diI-C3-(3)), and with the anionic probe bis-(1,3-diethylthiobarbituric)trimethine oxonol (bis-oxonol), is immediately followed by a large depolarization when [fMLP] greater than 10(-9) M. By extracellular substitution of sodium ions with potassium ions or choline or by pretreatment of the cells with ionophores, we report here that the hyperpolarization is primarily dependent on an intact potassium ion gradient and is accompanied by a concurrent acidification of the cytoplasm (approximately 0.05 pH unit) Although the latter occurs simultaneously with a large, transient increase in cytosolic Ca2+ at [fMLP] greater than 10(-10) M, it occurs without a detectable increase in cytosolic Ca2+ at [fMLP] less than 10(-10) M. The hyperpolarization is neither affected nor initiated by the chemotactic peptide antagonist tert-butyloxycarbonyl-methionyl-leucyl-phenylalanine, whereas the depolarization is completely inhibited. Neutrophils isolated from patients with X-linked chronic granulomatous disease exhibit normal hyperpolarizations and cytosolic Ca2+ increases in response to chemotactic peptides but exhibit no depolarization or oxidative burst. The hyperpolarization appears earlier in the ontogeny of differentiating myeloid precursor cells than either the rise in cytosolic Ca2+ or the depolarization response. Together, these findings indicate that an increase in transmembrane potential is one of the earliest events in the neutrophil response to chemotactic peptides, coinciding temporally with increases in cytoplasmic Ca2+ and H+ concentrations but preceding detectable oxidative burst activity.