PMID: 7166565Aug 1, 1982

Concanavalin-A-mediated thymocyte agglutination: a model for a quantitative study of cell adhesion

Journal of Cell Science
C CapoG I Bell


This report describes a quantitative study of the agglutination of rat thymocytes with concanavalin A (ConA). The probability that two ConA-coated cells remain bound after centrifugation was determined over a wide range of lectin concentrations. The minimal force required to separate agglutinated cells and the number of ConA molecules bound per cell were measured in similar experimental conditions. Agglutinated cells were examined by electron microscopy to estimate the area of membrane involved in adhesion. The dependence of agglutination on cell metabolism was studied: cold (4 degrees C), sodium azide (15 mM) and cytochalasin B (10 micrograms/ml) inhibited thymocyte adhesion. The importance of lateral movements of ConA molecules was assayed by measuring the adhesion of ConA-coated glutaraldehyde-fixed thymocytes to untreated cells: substantial binding occurred, but at a reduced level relative to untreated cells. A mathematical analysis of experimental data allowed the following conclusions. (1) At least 10(3) ConA bonds were involved in cross-linking two bound cells, which required the lectin molecules to be concentrated in the binding area, at least when low ConA concentrations (0.5 microgram/ml or less) were used. (2) The de...Continue Reading

Related Concepts

Cell Adhesion
Cold Temperature
Concanavalin A
Cytochalasin B
Electron Microscopy
Thymus Gland

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