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J Immunol. 1999 Apr 1;162(7):3840-50.

Chemokine receptor responses on T cells are achieved through regulation of both receptor expression and signaling.

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Laboratory of Clinical Investigation, Flow Cytometry Unit, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.


To address the issues of redundancy and specificity of chemokines and their receptors in lymphocyte biology, we investigated the expression of CC chemokine receptors CCR1, CCR2, CCR3, CCR5, CXCR3, and CXCR4 and responses to their ligands on memory and naive, CD4 and CD8 human T cells, both freshly isolated and after short term activation in vitro. Activation through CD3 for 3 days had the most dramatic effects on the expression of CXCR3, which was up-regulated and functional on all T cell populations including naive CD4 cells. In contrast, the effects of short term activation on expression of other chemokine receptors was modest, and expression of CCR2, CCR3, and CCR5 on CD4 cells was restricted to memory subsets. In general, patterns of chemotaxis in the resting cells and calcium responses in the activated cells corresponded to the patterns of receptor expression among T cell subsets. In contrast, the pattern of calcium signaling among subsets of freshly isolated cells did not show a simple correlation with receptor expression, so the propensity to produce a global rise in the intracellular calcium concentration differed among the various receptors within a given T cell subset and for an individual receptor depending on the cell where it was expressed. Our data suggest that individual chemokine receptors and their ligands function on T cells at different stages of T cell activation/differentiation, with CXCR3 of particular importance on newly activated cells, and demonstrate T cell subset-specific and activation state-specific responses to chemokines that are achieved by regulating receptor signaling as well as receptor expression.

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