Quantification of motility and area changes of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae in response to chemoattractants

Jeffrey E. Segall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


This report presents quantitative measurements of cell area and motility on the time scale of seconds. The response of Dictyostelium discoideum amoebae to step changes in chemoattractant concentration were followed using an image-processing system. Parameters reflecting total area and motility of several hundred to thousand cells were measured with a time resolution of 2.5 s. Responses of growth phase cells to folate and of starved cells to cAMP were similar. An increase in chemoattractant concentration produced a brief increase in motility followed by a longer-lasting decrease that returned to initial values in 90 s. At high cAMP concentrations the motility remained depressed. Area also increased transiently. Half-maximal responses were produced by 2 nm folate or 2 nm cAMP. Removal of chemoattractant produced a temporary increase in motility and decrease in area. These responses support a model in which antagonistic signals are used to orient cell movement.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)481-490
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Muscle Research and Cell Motility
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1988
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physiology
  • Biochemistry
  • Cell Biology


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