Sex-Based Differences in Human Neutrophil Chemorepulsion. Academic Article uri icon


  • A considerable amount is known about how eukaryotic cells move toward an attractant, and the mechanisms are conserved from Dictyostelium discoideum to human neutrophils. Relatively little is known about chemorepulsion, where cells move away from a repellent signal. We previously identified pathways mediating chemorepulsion in Dictyostelium, and here we show that these pathways, including Ras, Rac, protein kinase C, PTEN, and ERK1 and 2, are required for human neutrophil chemorepulsion, and, as with Dictyostelium chemorepulsion, PI3K and phospholipase C are not necessary, suggesting that eukaryotic chemorepulsion mechanisms are conserved. Surprisingly, there were differences between male and female neutrophils. Inhibition of Rho-associated kinases or Cdc42 caused male neutrophils to be more repelled by a chemorepellent and female neutrophils to be attracted to the chemorepellent. In the presence of a chemorepellent, compared with male neutrophils, female neutrophils showed a reduced percentage of repelled neutrophils, greater persistence of movement, more adhesion, less accumulation of PI(3,4,5)P3, and less polymerization of actin. Five proteins associated with chemorepulsion pathways are differentially abundant, with three of the five showing sex dimorphism in protein localization in unstimulated male and female neutrophils. Together, this indicates a fundamental difference in a motility mechanism in the innate immune system in men and women.

published proceedings

  • J Immunol

author list (cited authors)

  • Consalvo, K. M., Kirolos, S. A., Sestak, C. E., & Gomer, R. H.

complete list of authors

  • Consalvo, Kristen M||Kirolos, Sara A||Sestak, Chelsea E||Gomer, Richard H

publication date

  • January 1, 2022 11:11 AM