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Blood. 2001 Nov 1;98(9):2626-32.

Mice lacking the CCR9 CC-chemokine receptor show a mild impairment of early T- and B-cell development and a reduction in T-cell receptor gammadelta(+) gut intraepithelial lymphocytes.

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  • 1Centre d'Immunologie de Marseille-Luminy, INSERM-CNRS- Universite de la Mediterranee, Campus de Luminy, Marseille, France.


CC chemokine receptor (CCR) 9, the receptor for the CC-chemokine CCL25/thymus-expressed chemokine (TECK), is mainly expressed by thymocytes and by intraepithelial (IEL) and lamina propria lymphocytes of the small intestine. To study the biologic role of CCR9, a mouse strain was generated in which the CCR9 gene was deleted. In spite of the high level of CCR9 found in double- and single-positive thymocytes and of the expression of its corresponding ligand on thymic stromal cells, CCR9 deletion had no major effect on intrathymic T-cell development. It was noted that there was only a one-day lag in the appearance of double-positive cells during fetal ontogeny in CCR9(-/-) thymi. When tested in chemotaxis assay, thymocytes isolated from CCR9(-/-) mice failed to respond to TECK/CCL25. Taken together, these results suggest that in thymocytes, CCR9 is the only physiologic receptor for TECK/CCL25, and that it is dispensable for proper T-cell development. Bone marrow pre-pro-B cells migrate in response to TECK/CCL25, but more mature B cells do not. Consistent with this observation, it was shown that there are fewer pre-pro-B cells in CCR9(-/-) mice than in wild-type mice. However, this diminution does not appear to have a detectable effect on the generation of a normal complement of mature B cells. Finally, it was shown that in the small intestine of CCR9-deficient mice, the intraepithelial T-cell-to-epithelial cell ratio is decreased, an observation that can be accounted for by a marked diminution of the T-cell receptor gammadelta(+) compartment.

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