Send to

Choose Destination
J Immunol. 1999 Sep 1;163(5):2353-7.

Cutting edge: developmental switches in chemokine responses during T cell maturation.

Author information

Laboratory of Immunology and Vascular Biology, Department of Pathology, Digestive Disease Center, Stanford University Medical School, CA 94305, USA.


We show that developmental transitions during thymocyte maturation are associated with dramatic changes in chemotactic responses to chemokines. Macrophage-derived chemokine, a chemokine expressed in the thymic medulla, attracts thymocytes only during a brief window of development, between the late cortical and early medullary stages. All medullary phenotypes (CD4 or CD8 single positive) but not immature thymocytes respond to the medullary stroma-expressed (and secondary lymphoid tissue-associated) chemokines secondary lymphoid-tissue chemokine and macrophage inflammatory protein-3beta. The appearance of these responses is associated with the phenotypic stage of cortex to medulla migration and with up-regulation of mRNA for the receptors CCR4 (for macrophage-derived chemokine and thymus and activation-regulated chemokine) and CCR7 (for secondary lymphoid-tissue chemokine and macrophage inflammatory protein-3beta). In contrast, most immature and medullary thymocytes migrate to thymus-expressed chemokine, an ability that is lost only with up-regulation of the peripheral homing receptor L-selectin during the latest stages of thymocyte maturation associated with export to the periphery. Developmental switches in chemokine responses may help regulate critical migratory events during T cell development.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for HighWire
Loading ...
Support Center