The motile lymphocyte in vitro has a prominent "tail" that becomes a means of "attachment" to other cells and debris during interaction. The term "uropod" is proposed to designate this specialized cytoplasmic projection which appears totally different, anatomically and functionally, from the pseudopods. Observations of lymphoblasts during mitosis indicate that the uropod is formed immediately following mitosis at the point of final cytoplasmic connection between daughter cells, a fact that may prove significant as lymphocyte function is better understood.
In the mixed leukocyte reaction the lymphocyte interacts with macrophages, cell debris, and lymphoblasts via the uropod, suggesting that stimulatory material may be acquired through this specialized appendage. Lymphoblast-lymphocyte interaction is noteworthy and implies that immunologically committed cells may be mustered through horizontal as well as vertical processes: horizontally by lymphoblast-lymphocyte interaction and vertically by mitosis of transformed lymphoblasts. The possible relevance of these in vitro observations to lymphocyte functions in vivo is discussed.