The Journal of Membrane Biology

, Volume 52, Issue 3, pp 257–272 | Cite as

Interaction of chemotactic factors with human polymorphonuclear leukocytes: Studies using a membrane potential-sensitive cyanine dye

  • Bruce E. Seligmann
  • Elaine K. Gallin
  • David L. Martin
  • William Shain
  • John I. Gallin


Changes in the fluorescence intensity of the dye 3-3′ dipentyloxacarbocyanine were measured in suspensions of purified human peripheral blood polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs) during exposure to the chemotactic factors N-formyl-methionylleucyl-phenylalanine (f-met-leu-phe) and partially purified C5a. Incubation of PMNs with dye resulted in a stable fluorescence reflecting the resting membrane potential of the cell. Exposure of PMNs to dye did not affect stimulated chemotaxis or secretion. The mechanism of cell-associated dye fluorescence involved solvent effects from partitioning of the dye between the aqueous incubation medium and the cell and not dye aggregation, Chemotactically active concentrations of f-met-leu-phe (5×10−9m or greater) produced a biphasic response characterized as a decrease followed by an increase in fluorescence. No fluorescence response was seen in lysed PMNs, and no response was elicited by an inhibitor of f-met-leu-phe binding (carbobenzoxy-phenylalanyl-methionine). The ability of several other synthetic peptides to elicit a fluorescence response corresponded to their effectiveness as chemotactic agents. Although the first component of the response suggested a depolarization, it was not influenced by variation in the external concentration of sodium, potassium, chloride, or calcium, and could not be characterized as a membrane potential change. The second component of the response, which was inhibited by both Mg2+ (10mm)-EGTA (10mm) and high external potassium, was compatible with a membrane hyperpolarization. The data indicate that chemotactic factors produce changes in dye fluorescence which can, at least in part, be attributed to a hyperpolarizing membrane potential change occurring across the plasma membrane.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag New York Inc 1980

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bruce E. Seligmann
    • 1
    • 2
  • Elaine K. Gallin
    • 1
    • 2
  • David L. Martin
    • 1
    • 2
  • William Shain
    • 1
    • 2
  • John I. Gallin
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Neurobiology and Experimental Hematology DepartmentsArmed Forces Radiobiology Research InstituteBethesda
  2. 2.Department of ChemistryUniversity of MarylandCollege Park
  3. 3.Bacterial Disease Section, Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious DiseasesNational Institutes of HealthBethesda

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