Transport governs flow-enhanced cell tethering through L-selectin at threshold shear

Biophys J. 2007 Jan 1;92(1):330-42. doi: 10.1529/biophysj.106.090969. Epub 2006 Oct 6.


Flow-enhanced cell adhesion is a counterintuitive phenomenon that has been observed in several biological systems. Flow augments L-selectin-dependent adhesion by increasing the initial tethering of leukocytes to vascular surfaces and by strengthening their subsequent rolling interactions. Tethering or rolling might be influenced by physical factors that affect the formation or dissociation of selectin-ligand bonds. We recently demonstrated that flow enhanced rolling of L-selectin-bearing microspheres or neutrophils on P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 by force decreased bond dissociation. Here, we show that flow augmented tethering of these microspheres or cells to P-selectin glycoprotein ligand-1 by three transport mechanisms that increased bond formation: sliding of the sphere bottom on the surface, Brownian motion, and molecular diffusion. These results elucidate the mechanisms for flow-enhanced tethering through L-selectin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Biological Transport
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Diffusion
  • Humans
  • Immunoglobulin G / chemistry
  • Kinetics
  • L-Selectin / chemistry*
  • Leukocyte Rolling
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / chemistry*
  • Microspheres
  • Models, Biological
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Protein Conformation
  • Stress, Mechanical


  • Immunoglobulin G
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • P-selectin ligand protein
  • L-Selectin