Locomoting Blebbing Cells: A New Model to Test Whether Formation of Protrusions is Primarily Due to Hydrostatic Pressure or to Actin Elongation

  • H. U. Keller
Part of the NATO ASI Series book series (volume 84)


Locomoting blebbing cells appear to be a useful tool to analyse the mechanisms generating protrusions (Keller and Niggli, 1993). The following findings suggest that, in this model, hydrostatic pressure may be the primary force pushing the membrane forward:
  1. 1.

    In blebbing cells the membrane is pushed forward faster (about 2.4 μm /sec) than known rates of actin elongation.

  2. 2.

    Immunofluorescent studies indicate that blebs show either diffuse staining for F-actin and α-actinin or only a linear staining along the cell membrane. These two patterns may represent different stages of bleb formation.

  3. 3.

    Formation of blebs or ruffles as well as the development of a polarized shape in neutrophils is suppressed in hypertonic media (0.5 M sorbitol).



Hydrostatic Pressure Actin Polymerization Locomote Cell Primary Force Bleb Formation 
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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • H. U. Keller
    • 1
  1. 1.Institute of PathologyUniversity of BernBernSwitzerland

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