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Leukocyte motility involves pseudopods extension at the leading edge and uropod contraction at the cell rear. Previous studies have shown that the glycoprotein CD43 redistributes to the uropod, when the cells develop polarity and locomotion. The present study addresses the question whether the accumulation of specific membrane molecules, such as CD43 at the contracted uropod precedes or follows development of polarity and locomotion. PMNs were labeled with fluorescent anti-CD43 antibodies and guided to polarize in the direction of a chemoattractant-containing micropipette or, once polarized, they were forced to reverse polarity and movement direction by placing the micropipette behind the uropod. This chemotactically-induced reversal of polarity was used as an efficient tool to analyse the sequence of events. CD43, but not another abundant surface glycoprotein CD45, was concentrated at the uropod. This documents that CD43 redistribution is a selective phenomenon. During reversal of polarity and of locomotion direction, the geometric center of the cell clearly changed direction earlier than the center of anti-CD43 fluorescence intensity. Thus, CD43 redistribution to the new uropod follows rather than precedes reversal of polarity, suggesting that CD43 redistribution is a consequence rather than a prerequisite for polarity and locomotion. PMNs making a U-turn maintained the pre-existing polarity and CD43 remained concentrated at the uropod, even when the front was moving in the opposite direction. Our data show that anterior pseudopod formation, rather than capping of CD43 at the uropod or the position of the uropod determines the direction of locomotion.

Citation

A Dehghani Zadeh, S Seveau, L Halbwachs-Mecarelli, H U Keller. Chemotactically-induced redistribution of CD43 as related to polarity and locomotion of human polymorphonuclear leucocytes. Biology of the cell / under the auspices of the European Cell Biology Organization. 2003 Jul;95(5):265-73

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PMID: 12941524

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