The leukocyte response to fluid stress

  • Moazzam F
  • DeLano F
  • Zweifach B
 et al. 
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Leukocyte migration from a hemopoietic pool across marrow endothelium requires active pseudopod formation and adhesion. Leukocytes rarely show pseudopod formation while in circulation. At question then is the mechanism that serves to minimize leukocyte pseudopod formation in the circulation. We tested the hypothesis that fluid shear stress acts to prevent pseudopod formation. When individual human leukocytes (neutrophils, monocytes) spreading on glass surfaces in vitro were subjected to fluid shear stress ( approximately 1 dyn/cm2), an instantaneous retraction of pseudopods was observed. Removal of the fluid shear stress in turn led to the return of pseudopod projection and cell spreading. When steady shear stress was prolonged over several minutes, leukocyte swelling occurs together with an enhanced random motion of cytoplasmic granules and a reduction of cytoplasmic stiffness. The response to shear stress could be suppressed by K+ channel blockers and chelation of external Ca2+. In rat mesentery microvessels after occlusion, circulating leukocytes project pseudopods in free suspension or when attached to the endothelium, even though immediately after occlusion only few pseudopods were present. When flow was restored, pseudopods on adhering leukocytes were retracted and then the cells began to roll and detach from the endothelium. In conclusion, plasma shear stress in the circulation serves to reduce pseudopod projection and adhesion of circulating leukocytes and vice versa reduction of shear stress leads to pseudopod projection and spreading of leukocytes on the endothelium.

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  • F. Moazzam

  • F. A. DeLano

  • B. W. Zweifach

  • G. W. Schmid-Schonbein

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