Mechanical properties of HL60 cells: role of stimulation and differentiation in retention in capillary-sized pores.

S. C. Erzurum, M. L. Kus, C. Bohse, E. L. Elson, G. S. Worthen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

27 Scopus citations


Neutrophil sequestration in pulmonary capillaries occurs prior to the development of lung injury, but the mechanisms by which neutrophils are retained are unclear. We hypothesized that decreases in cell deformability, in the absence of an increase in cell surface adhesive properties, would be sufficient to cause cell retention in a filtration apparatus modeling the pulmonary microvasculature. The myelomonocytic cell line (HL60 cell line) was used to test the hypothesis since these cells were unable to increase adherence in response to n-formylmethionylleucylphenylalanine (FMLP) in either the undifferentiated state or when differentiated towards granulocytes. With differentiation, HL60 cell volume decreased, and f-actin organization changed from a thick cortical rim with focal areas of f-actin in undifferentiated cells to a thin rim in differentiated cells. Differentiated cells responded to FMLP by reorganizing f-actin and increasing stiffness. Undifferentiated cells did not exhibit changes in f-actin with stimulation, were stiffer than differentiated cells, and did not increase stiffness in response to FMLP. Cytochalasin D (CD), which disrupted the cytoarchitecture as assessed by confocal microscopy but did not affect cell volume or adherence, decreased the stiffness of undifferentiated and FMLP-stimulated differentiated cells, thus suggesting the importance of microfilament organization in the stiffness of these cells. Filtration of cells through 8-microns pores showed that undifferentiated cells were markedly retained and did not exhibit any further retention with FMLP. Differentiated cells exposed to FMLP exhibited a concentration-dependent increase in retention in 8-microns pores that was abolished by CD. In addition, CD reduced retention of undifferentiated cells, indicating that microfilament organization is an important factor in determining a cell's rheologic properties. In conclusion, FMLP-stimulated microfilament reorganization, which increased cell stiffness, was sufficient in the absence of adherence factors to cause cell retention in a filtration system. This lends support to the hypothesis that decreases in cell deformability contribute to neutrophil retention in the pulmonary microvasculature.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)230-241
Number of pages12
JournalAmerican Journal of Respiratory Cell and Molecular Biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 1991


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