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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 1999 Dec 7;96(25):14470-5.

CTACK, a skin-associated chemokine that preferentially attracts skin-homing memory T cells.

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  • 1Department of Immunobiology, DNAX Research Institute, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.


In contrast to naive lymphocytes, memory/effector lymphocytes can access nonlymphoid effector sites and display restricted, often tissue-selective, migration behavior. The cutaneous lymphocyte-associated antigen (CLA) defines a subset of circulating memory T cells that selectively localize in cutaneous sites mediated in part by the interaction of CLA with its vascular ligand E-selectin. Here, we report the identification and characterization of a CC chemokine, cutaneous T cell-attracting chemokine (CTACK). Both human and mouse CTACK are detected only in skin by Southern and Northern blot analyses. Specifically, CTACK message is found in the mouse epidermis and in human keratinocytes, and anti-CTACK mAbs predominantly stain the epithelium. Finally, CTACK selectively attracts CLA(+) memory T cells. Taken together, these results suggest an important role for CTACK in recruitment of CLA(+) T cells to cutaneous sites. CTACK is predominantly expressed in the skin and selectively attracts a tissue-specific subpopulation of memory lymphocytes.

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