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Immunity. 2002 Feb;16(2):205-18.

Role for CCR7 ligands in the emigration of newly generated T lymphocytes from the neonatal thymus.

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  • 1Division of Experimental Immunology, Institute for Genome Research, The University of Tokushima and Laboratory of Immune System Development, RIKEN Research Center for Allergy and Immunology, 3-18-15 Kuramoto, 770-8503, Tokushima, Japan.

Abstract

Most T lymphocytes are generated within the thymus. It is unclear, however, how newly generated T cells relocate out of the thymus to the circulation. The present study shows that a CC chemokine CCL19 attracts mature T cells out of the fetal thymus organ culture. Another CC chemokine CCL21, which shares CCR7 with CCL19 but has a unique C-terminal extension containing positively charged amino acids, failed to show involvement in thymic emigration. Neonatal appearance of circulating T cells was defective in CCL19-neutralized mice as well as in CCR7-deficient mice but not in CCL21-neutralized mice. In the thymus, CCL19 is predominantly localized in the medulla including endothelial venules. These results indicate a CCL19- and CCR7-dependent pathway of thymic emigration, which represents a major pathway of neonatal T cell export.

PMID:
11869682
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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