Rolling neutrophils form tethers and slings under physiologic conditions in vivo

Alex Marki, Konrad Buscher, Zbigniew Mikulski, Axel Pries, Klaus Ley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

18 Scopus citations


Human and mouse neutrophils are known to form tethers when rolling on selectins in vitro. Tethers are ∼0.2 μm thin, ∼5–10 μm-long structures behind rolling cells that can swing around to form slings that serve as self-adhesive substrates. Here, we developed a mouse intravital imaging method, where the neutrophil surface is labeled by injecting fluorescently labeled mAb to Ly-6G. Venules in the cremaster muscle of live mice were imaged at a high frame rate using a confocal microscope equipped with a fast resonant scanner. We observed 270 tethers (median length 3.5μm) and 31 slings (median length 6.9 µm) on 186 neutrophils of 15 mice. Out of 199 tether break events, 123 were followed by immediate acceleration of the rolling cell, which shows that tethers are load-bearing structures in vivo. In venules with a high wall shear stress (WSS; > 12 dyn/cm 2 ), median rolling velocity was higher (19 μm/s), and 43% of rolling neutrophils had visible tethers. In venules with WSS < 12 dyn/cm 2 , only 26% of rolling neutrophils had visible tethers. We conclude that neutrophil tethers are commonly present and stabilize rolling in vivo.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)67-70
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Load-bearing
  • P-selectin
  • PSGL-1
  • Venule

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Immunology
  • Cell Biology


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