The migration of human neutrophilic granulocytes in hydrated collagen lattices was studied by a combination of cinemicroscopy, and scanning and transmission electron microscopy. The basic pattern of cell migration in collagen was similar to that observed previously for these cells on inert material surfaces; i.e., a cycle of cell extension and cytoplasmic flow into the leading extension. In general, however, neutrophils in collagen were less spread than on glass or plastic surfaces. Thin lamellipodia were absent and the leading extension of the cells was often an elaborately folded pseudopodium. In addition, neutrophils migrating in collagen were never observed to have retraction fibres at the tail end of the cells, although a uropod was usually seen. In the region of the uropod, extensive blebbing of the cells often occurred, and when this happened, forward movement of the cells ceased. At the ultrastructural level, both the leading pseudopodium and the blebs at the tail of the cell were found to contain a dense cytoskeletal network from which cell organelles were excluded. Finally, the cells were found to be coated with an extensive glycocalyx, and individual collagen fibres were sometimes observed within the glycocalyx.

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