Responses to injections of various materials into rabbit ear chambers were studied by in vivo microscopy. The acute inflammatory responses provoked by injections of antibody-antigen complexes were both quantitatively and qualitatively different from the responses obtained after injections of either homologous sera or the antigens alone. The sticking of leukocytes to endothelium during these responses occurred only in the venules draining the injection sites and was frequently present only on the sides of the venules towards the injection sites. An explanation of this finding was proposed in terms of absorption by the minute vessels related to the injection sites of postulated mediator(s) with specific activity on venular endothelium.
Analysis of the rates and direction of movement of leukocytes during the reactions produced by the antibody-antigen complexes was performed with the aid of time-lapse cinemicroscopy. The leukocytes that were sticking to the venular endothelium frequently exhibited amoeboid locomotion within the vessels. Twice as many of these cells moved against the direction of blood flow as with it. This finding was discussed and an explanation proposed.
A method for detecting a drift in the overall population of emigrated leukocytes within the inflamed tissue was described and revealed that four times as many amoeboid cells moved away from the injection sites as towards them. This result was discussed in the light of the in vitro chemotactic properties of antibody-antigen complexes demonstrated for rabbit leukocytes. An alternative explanation was proposed in terms of variation in the population density of these cells and their random movements and collisions.
The rates of amoeboid movement of leukocytes during the acute inflammatory reactions produced by antibody-antigen complexes were similar to the rates found during turpentine inflammation and were compared to other published values.