Microtubule asymmetry during neutrophil polarization and migration Academic Article uri icon


MeSH Major

  • Microtubules
  • Neutrophils


  • The development of cell polarity in response to chemoattractant stimulation in human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) is characterized by the rapid conversion from round to polarized morphology with a leading lamellipod at the front and a uropod at the rear. During PMN polarization, the microtubule (MT) array undergoes a dramatic reorientation toward the uropod that is maintained during motility and does not require large-scale MT disassembly or cell adhesion to the substratum. MTs are excluded from the leading lamella during polarization and motility, but treatment with a myosin light chain kinase inhibitor (ML-7) or the actin-disrupting drug cytochalasin D causes an expansion of the MT array and penetration of MTs into the lamellipod. Depolymerization of the MT array before stimulation caused 10% of the cells to lose their polarity by extending two opposing lateral lamellipodia. These multipolar cells showed altered localization of a leading lamella-specific marker, talin, and a uropod-specific marker, CD44. In summary, these results indicate that F-actin- and myosin II-dependent forces lead to the development and maintenance of MT asymmetry that may act to reinforce cell polarity during PMN migration.

publication date

  • December 2002



  • Academic Article



  • eng

PubMed Central ID

  • PMC138647

Digital Object Identifier (DOI)

  • 10.1091/mbc.E02-04-0241

PubMed ID

  • 12475966

Additional Document Info

start page

  • 4470

end page

  • 83


  • 13


  • 12