Intracellular calcium levels correlate with speed and persistent forward motion in migrating neutrophils

Biophys J. 1995 Apr;68(4):1207-17. doi: 10.1016/S0006-3495(95)80336-X.


The relationship between cytosolic free calcium concentration ([Ca2+]i) and human neutrophil motility was studied by video microscopy. Neutrophils stimulated by a uniform concentration of an N-formylated peptide chemoattractant (f-Met-Leu-Phe) were tracked during chemokinetic migration on albumin, fibronectin, and vitronectin. [Ca2+]i buffering with quin2 resulted in significant decreases in mean speed on albumin. To further characterize the relationship between [Ca2+]i changes and motility we carried out a cross-correlation analysis of [Ca2+]i with several motility parameters. Cross-correlations between [Ca2+]i and each cell's speed, angle changes, turn strength, and persistent forward motion revealed (i) a positive correlation between [Ca2+]i and cell speed (p < 0.05), (ii) no significant correlation between turns and calcium spikes, and (iii) the occurrence of turns during periods of low speed. Significant negative correlations between [Ca2+]i and angle change were noted on the high adhesion substrates vitronectin and fibronectin but not on the low adhesion substrate albumin. These data imply that there is a general temporal relationship between [Ca2+]i, speed, and persistent motion. However, the correlations are not sufficiently strong to imply that changes in [Ca2+]i are required proximal signals for velocity changes.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Biophysical Phenomena
  • Biophysics
  • Buffers
  • Calcium / metabolism*
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cell Movement / physiology
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / drug effects
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / physiology
  • Cytosol / metabolism
  • Fura-2
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Intracellular Fluid / metabolism
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine / pharmacology
  • Neutrophils / drug effects
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / physiology*


  • Buffers
  • N-Formylmethionine Leucyl-Phenylalanine
  • Calcium
  • Fura-2