Cell Biochemistry and Biophysics

, Volume 20, Issue 1, pp 33–56 | Cite as

Evidence for lymphocyte chemotaxis toward monocytes during PHA-induced aggregation in vitro

  • Duaine R. Jackola
  • James J. O’Leary


An important, early phenomenon during the development of immune cell interactions in vitro is the formation of multicellular aggregates. We have developed a quantitative assay to determine the kinetics of multicellular aggregate formation within a heterotypic population of cells on a flat surface. This assay follows the time rate of change in the value of an aggregation index for cells in undisturbed culture. For an initial, well-separated population of cells, the index is a minimum and remains at this value if the cells do not move and interact. By contrast, for conditions that promote active cell movement followed by interaction, the index value increases with time. The index, which reflects cells’ relative spatial distributions, is an “indirect enumeration” of the number of cells within aggregates as a function of time.

We used this index to follow the aggregative behavior of a population of freshly isolated human peripheral lymphocytes and monocytes. Previous studies have shown that monocytes are centrally located within aggregates and that lymphocytes move to surround monocytes. In order to test if lymphocyte movements are random or directed prior to interactions with monocytes, we formulated a simple model to describe changes in the expected number of cells in an “idealized aggregate” as a function of time. A comparison of the model curves with curves generated from the changes in the aggregation index shows that the best fit derives from a model that involves directed movement of lymphocytes toward monocytes. These results suggest that monocytes produce a chemoattracting agent for lymphocytes for these experimental conditions.

Index Entries

Cell aggregation cell movement chemotaxis leukocyte lymphocytes macrophage activation 


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Copyright information

© Humana Press, Inc 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Duaine R. Jackola
    • 1
  • James J. O’Leary
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Biophysical SciencesUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis
  2. 2.Department of Laboratory Medicine and PathologyUniversity of MinnesotaMinneapolis

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