The ability of a phagocytic stimulus, rabbit IgG anti-BSA/BSA immune complexes, to increase the F-actin content of human polymorphonuclear leukocytes was quantitated by flow cytometry following staining with nitrobenzoxadiazole-phallacidin. A significant rise in F-actin assembly was induced by addition of 5 micrograms/ml immune complex. Concentrations of immune complex of more than 200 micrograms/ml caused a maximal (approximately twofold) increase in F-actin content. After a delay of 5 s, the F-actin levels rose and reached maximum levels by 60 s after adding immune complexes. The twofold elevation in F-actin persisted for up to 60 min. Both anti-Fc gamma RII and anti-Fc gamma RIII mAb blocked immune complex stimulated actin polymerization. Exposure to pertussis toxin failed to affect the rate or extent of immune complex-induced actin polymerization. Cells incubated with immune complexes and then lysed with Triton had an increased number of sites able to nucleate actin polymerization. These findings suggest that immune complex binding to both polymorphonuclear leukocytes Fc gamma RII and Fc gamma RIII is required for actin filament assembly and that the induction of assembly occurs via transduction pathways that differ from those used by chemoattractants. As with adhesion this phagocytic stimulus induces actin assembly by a pertussis toxin insensitive pathway and produces a rise in actin filament content that persists for prolonged periods of time.

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