Static and dynamic lengths of neutrophil microvilli.
Containing most of the L-selectin and P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 (PSGL-1) on their tips, microvilli are believed to promote the initial arrest of neutrophils on endothelium. At the rolling stage following arrest, the lifetimes of the involved molecular bonds depend on the pulling force imposed by the shear stress of blood flow. With two different methods, electron microscopy and micropipette manipulation, we have obtained two comparable neutrophil microvillus lengths, both approximately 0.3 microm in average. We have found also that, under a pulling force, a microvillus can be extended (microvillus extension) or a long thin membrane cylinder (a tether) can be formed from it (tether formation). If the force is 61 pN (+/- 5 pN), a tether will be formed from the microvillus at a constant velocity, which depends linearly on the force. When the force is between 34 pN and 61 pN (transition zone), the degree of association between membrane and cytoskeleton in individual microvilli will dictate whether microvillus extension or tether formation occurs. When a microvillus is extended, it acts like a spring with a spring constant of approximately 43 pN/microm. In contrast to a rigid or nonextendible microvillus, both microvillus extension and tether formation can decrease the pulling force imposed on the adhesive bonds, and thus prolonging the persistence of the bonds at high physiological shear stresses.
Shao, JY; Ting-Beall, HP; Hochmuth, RM
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