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J Immunol. 1999 Dec 1;163(11):6236-43.

Chemokine and chemokine receptor interactions provide a mechanism for selective T cell recruitment to specific liver compartments within hepatitis C-infected liver.

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  • 1Liver Research Laboratories and Department of Rheumatology, Medical Research Council Centre for Immune Regulation, University of Birmingham, Birmingham, United Kingdom.


The role played by chemokines in regulating the selective recruitment of lymphocytes to different tissue compartments in disease is poorly characterized. In hepatitis C infection, inflammation confined to portal areas is associated with a less aggressive course, whereas T cell infiltration of the liver parenchyma is associated with progressive liver injury and cirrhosis. We propose a mechanism to explain how lymphocytes are recruited to hepatic lobules during bursts of necroinflammatory activity in chronic hepatitis C infection. We report here that lymphocytes infiltrating hepatitis C-infected liver express high levels of the chemokine receptors CCR5 and CXCR3. However, whereas the CCR5 ligands macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha and -1beta were largely confined to vessels within portal tracts, the CXCR3 ligands IFN-inducible protein-10 and monokine-induced by IFN-gamma were selectively up-regulated on sinusoidal endothelium. In vitro, human hepatic sinusoidal endothelial cells secreted IFN-inducible protein-10 and monokine-induced by IFN-gamma in response to stimulation with IFN-gamma in combination with either IL-1 or TNF-alpha. This suggests that intrahepatic Th1 cytokines drive the increased expression of IFN-inducible protein-10 and monokine-induced by IFN-gamma and thereby promote the continuing recruitment of CXCR3-expressing T cells into the hepatic lobule in chronic hepatitis C infection.

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