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Blood. 1999 Oct 1;94(7):2533-6.

TECK, an efficacious chemoattractant for human thymocytes, uses GPR-9-6/CCR9 as a specific receptor.

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Department of Microbiology, Walther Oncology Center, Indianapolis, IN, USA.


Chemokines regulate leukocytes trafficking in normal and inflammation conditions. Thymus-seeding progenitors are made in bone marrow and migrate to the thymus where they undergo their maturation to antigen-specific T cells. Immature T cells are in thymic cortex, while mature thymocytes are in medulla. Chemokines may be important for homing of thymus-seeding progenitors, and/or differential thymocyte localization in thymus. Here we report that GPR-9-6, now called CC chemokine receptor 9 (CCR9), is a receptor for thymus-expressed chemokine, TECK. Among a panel of chemokines tested, TECK specifically induced calcium flux in CCR9-expressing cell lines. We also showed that TECK efficaciously induced chemotaxis of immature CD4(+)CD8(+) double-positive, and mature CD4(+) and CD8(+) single-positive human thymocytes. Our data suggest that TECK/CCR9 interaction may play a pivotal role in T-cell migration in the thymus.

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