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Cytokine. 1999 Jul;11(7):531-40.

Abundant expression of chemokines in malignant and infective human lymphadenopathies.

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The Inflammation Research Unit, School of Pathology, University of New South Wales, Australia.


Lymph nodes can be the primary target of infection or malignant transformation and may exhibit characteristic patterns of leukocyte infiltration analogous to those seen in inflammation of other tissues. Leukocyte migration to lymph nodes in vivo is a highly regulated, multi-step process that depends upon adhesion molecules and as yet, uncharacterized chemotactic signals. Chemokines are a key part of the orchestrated code of signals that directs leukocyte subsets to sites of inflammation or immune response. The potential role of these chemoattractants in selective trafficking of leukocyte subsets into lymph nodes was assessed by determining the expression of chemokines on a range of pathological and normal human lymph nodes and by evaluating the cellular composition of each lymph node. In situ hybridization using chemokine riboprobes and immunohistochemistry using specific antibodies were performed in order to correlate the mRNA and protein expression of the chemokines. The cellular source(s) of each chemokine was assessed by immunohistochemical staining of adjacent sections using antibodies directed against distinctive cellular markers. Substantial, but varied, expression of macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1alpha, MIP-1beta, RANTES, macrophage chemotactic protein (MCP)-1, eotaxin, and interleukin 8 (IL-8) were detected in the pathological lymph nodes by diverse cell types. Control lymph nodes showed expression only of RANTES, mainly by high endothelial venules. In all lymph nodes, except the nodes infiltrated with breast cancer, chemokine mRNA expression was highly concordant with the corresponding protein. In contrast with in vitro studies that have suggested discrete target cell specificity of chemokines, this study showed that with the possible exception of the neutrophil chemoattractant, IL-8, no chemokine appeared to be uniquely associated with the accumulation of a specific leukocyte subset. These data implicate chemokines in the recruitment of leukocytes to lymph nodes affected by diverse disease states.

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