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J Leukoc Biol. 2008 Apr;83(4):875-82. doi: 10.1189/jlb.1006645. Epub 2008 Jan 3.

CXCL4-induced migration of activated T lymphocytes is mediated by the chemokine receptor CXCR3.

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  • 1Leukocyte Biology Section, National Heart and Lung Institute, Faculty of Medicine, Imperial College London, South Kensington Campus, London SW7 2AZ, UK. j


The chemokine CXCL4/platelet factor-4 is released by activated platelets in micromolar concentrations and is a chemoattractant for leukocytes via an unidentified receptor. Recently, a variant of the human chemokine receptor CXCR3 (CXCR3-B) was described, which transduced apoptotic but not chemotactic signals in microvascular endothelial cells following exposure to high concentrations of CXCL4. Here, we show that CXCL4 can induce intracellular calcium release and the migration of activated human T lymphocytes. CXCL4-induced chemotaxis of T lymphocytes was inhibited by a CXCR3 antagonist and pretreatment of cells with pertussis toxin (PTX), suggestive of CXCR3-mediated G-protein signaling via Galphai-sensitive subunits. Specific binding by T lymphocytes of the CXCR3 ligand CXCL10 was not effectively competed by CXCL4, suggesting that the two are allotopic ligands. We subsequently used expression systems to dissect the potential roles of each CXCR3 isoform in mediating CXCL4 function. Transient expression of the CXCR3-A and CXCR3-B isoforms in the murine pre-B cell L1.2 produced cells that migrated in response to CXCL4 in a manner sensitive to PTX and a CXCR3 antagonist. Binding of radiolabeled CXCL4 to L1.2 CXCR3 transfectants was of low affinity and appeared to be mediated chiefly by glycosaminoglycans (GAGs), as no specific CXCL4 binding was observed in GAG-deficient 745-Chinese hamster ovary cells stably expressing CXCR3. We suggest that following platelet activation, the CXCR3/CXCL4 axis may play a role in T lymphocyte recruitment and the subsequent amplification of inflammation observed in diseases such as atherosclerosis. In such a setting, antagonism of the CXCR3/CXCL4 axis may represent a useful, therapeutic intervention.

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