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Neutrophil Migration in Opposing Chemoattractant Gradients Using Microfluidic Chemotaxis Devices


Neutrophils migrating in tissue respond to complex overlapping signals generated by a variety of chemotactic factors (CFs). Previous studies suggested a hierarchy between bacteria-derived CFs and host-derived CFs but could not differentiate neutrophil response to potentially equal host-derived CFs (IL-8 and LTB4). This paper reports neutrophil migration in conflicting gradients of IL-8 and LTB4 using a microfluidic chemotaxis device that can generate stable and well-defined gradients. We quantitatively characterized the movement of cells from time-lapse images. Neutrophils migrate more efficiently toward single IL-8 gradients than single LTB4 gradients as measured by the effective chemotactic index (ECI). In opposing gradients of IL-8 and LTB4, neutrophils show obvious chemotaxis toward a distant gradient, consistent with previous reports. When an opposing gradient of LTB4 is present, neutrophils show less effective chemotaxis toward IL-8 than when they are in a gradient of IL-8 alone. In contrast, the chemotactic response of neutrophils to LTB4 is not reduced in opposing gradients as compared to that in a single LTB4 gradient. These results indicate that the presence of one host-derived CF modifies the response of neutrophils to a second CF suggesting a subtle hierarchy between them.

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Correspondence to Noo Li Jeon PhD.

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Lin, F., Nguyen, C.MC., Wang, SJ. et al. Neutrophil Migration in Opposing Chemoattractant Gradients Using Microfluidic Chemotaxis Devices. Ann Biomed Eng 33, 475–482 (2005).

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  • Chemotaxis
  • Gradient
  • Hierarchy
  • Microfluidic
  • Migration
  • Neutrophil