Your Blood Cells Are Crawling Inside You

Posted on May 30, 2009 

Your Blood Cells Are Crawling Inside You

White blood cells, the immune system’s “soldiers” for your body, actually crawl along your blood vessels to find their way to infection and injury sites, new research shows.

The cells move like millipedes, creating many minute legs that adhere to the endothelial cells lining blood vessel walls, said researcher Ronen Alon of the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Scientists had previously thought that these cells moved like inchworms, forming attachments at their front and back, then folding in the middle and pushing forward.

Instead, the cells’ tiny legs rapidly attach and detach themselves, allowing the cells to quickly migrate to their destination.

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