Transient increases in cytosolic free calcium concentration, [Ca2+]i, appear to be required for the migration of human neutrophils on poly-D-lysine-coated glass in the presence of dilute serum (Marks, P. W., and F. R. Maxfield. 1990. J. Cell Biol. 110:43-52). In contrast, no requirement for [Ca2+]i transients exists when neutrophils migrate on albumin-coated glass in the absence of serum. To determine the mechanism that necessitates [Ca2+]i transients on poly-D-lysine in the presence of serum, migration was examined on substrates consisting of purified adhesive glycoproteins. In the absence of external Ca2+, a treatment which causes the cessation of [Ca2+]i transients, migration on fibronectin (fn) and vitronectin (vn) was significantly inhibited. Migration was also inhibited in Ca2(+)-buffered cells on these substrates, indicating that this effect was the result of an alteration of [Ca2+]i. In the absence of external Ca2+, the inhibition of migration on fn or vn was more pronounced when soluble fn or vn was added to cells migrating on these substrates. This effect of soluble adhesive glycoprotein was specific: in the absence of external Ca2+, soluble fn did not affect the migration of cells on vn, and soluble vn did not affect the migration on fn. No additional inhibition of migration was observed in Ca2(+)-buffered cells with the addition of soluble adhesive glycoprotein. These data indicate that [Ca2+]i transients are involved in continued migration of human neutrophils on fn or vn, proteins which are part of the extracellular matrix that neutrophils encounter in vivo.

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