Polymorphonuclear leukocyte (PMN) locomotion and chemotaxis have been evaluated by direct microscopic observation of individual cells in thin slide-cover slip preparations, and also by observations on populations of cells migrating into a Millipore filter. The direct microscopic method used the polarity of the locomoting PMNs (broad, advancing lamellipodium and knoblike constriction at the rear) to record the direction of movement. The Boyden chamber Millipore assay was made more reliable by following the front of cells advancing into the filter, rather than counting the number of cells on the lower filter surface. Special modifications of the Millipore assay were necessary in order to distinguish between influences on rate of locomotion and true chemotaxis.
In both systems the results indicate that under certain conditions leukocytes, and in particular PMNs, release into the medium a factor stimulating locomotion and exerting chemotactic action on PMNs in the vicinity. This cell-derived factor appears not to require serum factors for its release or action.