The microtubule cytoskeleton in human phagocytic leukocytes is a highly dynamic structure

M. Ding, J. M. Robinson, B. C. Behrens, D. D. Vandre

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42 Scopus citations


The microtubule cytoskeleton of human leukocytes has been difficult to study in part, due to the lack of a reliable protocol for the indirect immunofluorescence staining of microtubules in these cells. We report here the development of a simple and reliable immunocytochemical labeling protocol for the examination of microtubules in leukocytes including monocytes, neutrophils, and eosinophils. The dynamic properties of microtubules in both monocytes and neutrophils were examined by indirect immunofluorescence staining of cells following exposure to nocodazole. Nocodazole induced depolymerization is extremely rapid in both cell types, as is the regrowth of microtubules following removal of the nocodazole. Rapid reorganization of the microtubule cytoskeleton,vas also observed in neutrophils undergoing chemotactic stimulation. Bundling of microtubules was observed in both monocytes and neutrophils isolated from patients undergoing taxol infusion chemotherapy. The taxol-induced bundles mere transient in nature as they mere absent from samples collected 48 h following the completion of the taxol infusion. These results demonstrate the unique dynamic properties of leukocyte microtubules and indicate that they can be altered in vivo. The development of this staining protocol should allow for the further analysis of leukocyte microtubules as related to the normal functional response of these cells and form the basis for correlating alterations in microtubule dynamics with the effects of taxol on leukocyte function.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)234-245
Number of pages12
JournalEuropean journal of cell biology
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1995

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Cell Biology


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