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J Clin Invest. 1999 Jul;104(1):49-57.

Active participation of CCR5(+)CD8(+) T lymphocytes in the pathogenesis of liver injury in graft-versus-host disease.

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Department of Molecular Preventive Medicine and CREST, School of Medicine, The University of Tokyo, Tokyo 113-0033, Japan.


We examined the molecular pathogenesis of graft-versus-host disease-associated (GVHD-associated) liver injury in mice, focusing on the role of chemokines. At the second week after cell transfer in the parent-into-F1 model of GVHD, CD8(+) T cells -- especially donor-derived CD8(+) T cells -- infiltrated the liver, causing both portal hepatitis and nonsuppurative destructive cholangitis (NSDC). These migrating cells expressed CCR5. Moreover, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha), one of the ligands for CCR5, was selectively expressed on intralobular bile duct epithelial cells, endothelial cells, and infiltrating macrophages and lymphocytes. Administration of anti-CCR5 antibody dramatically reduced the infiltration of CCR5(+)CD8(+) T lymphocytes into the liver, and consequently protected against liver damage in GVHD. The levels of Fas ligand (FasL) mRNA expression in the liver were also decreased by anti-CCR5 antibody treatment. Anti-MIP-1alpha antibody treatment also reduced liver injury. These results suggest that MIP-1alpha-induced migration of CCR5-expressing CD8(+) T cells into the portal areas of the liver plays a significant role in causing liver injury in GVHD; thus, CCR5 and its ligand may be the novel target molecules of therapeutic intervention of hepatic GVHD.

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