Functional and morphologic effects of cytochalasin B on the cultivated macrophage were examined to determine the basis for plasma membrane movements of the type required for endocytosis and/or spreading on a substratum. Inhibition of phagocytosis and changes in cell shape by cytochalasin B exhibited nearly identical dose-response curves requiring 2–5 x 10-6 M and 1–2 x 10-5 M cytochalasin B to inhibit these functions by 50% and 100%, respectively. In contrast, hexose transport was ten times more sensitive to the drug requiring 2–3 x 10-7 M cytochalasin B to achieve 50% inhibition of 2-deoxyglucose uptake. Inhibition of phagocytosis and changes in cell shape could not be explained solely by drug effects on hexose transport. Analysis of serial thin sections showed that cytochalasin B doses inhibitory for hexose transport had no effect on distribution or organization of either of the two subplasmalemmal microfilament types. However, cytochalasin B concentrations (2.0 x 10-5 M) that inhibited phagocytosis and altered cell shape disorganized and/or disrupted oriented bundles of 40–50-Å subplasmalemmal microfilaments, but had no effect on the microfilamentous network. Comparative dose-response studies showing positive correlations among cytochalasin B effects on phagocytosis, changes in cell shape, and alterations in oriented subplasmalemmal microfilament bundles provide additional support for the hypothesis that microfilamentous structures play a role in translocation of plasma membrane required for endocytosis and cell motility.

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