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Eur J Immunol. 2000 Jan;30(1):204-10.

Macrophage-derived chemokine production by activated human T cells in vitro and in vivo: preferential association with the production of type 2 cytokines.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Clinical Immunology, Allergy, University of Florence, Florence, Italy.


Macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), a potent chemoattractant for chronically activated Th2 lymphocytes, is constitutively expressed by dendritic cells, B cells, macrophages, and thymic medullary epithelial cells, whereas monocytes, NK cells, and T lymphocytes produce MDC only upon appropriate stimulation. In this study, we show in vitro MDC production also by activated T cells, which preferentially associate with the production of Th2 cytokines, IL-4, IL-5, and IL-6, and inversely correlate with the production of the Th1 cytokine, IFN-gamma. Moreover, high levels of MDC were detected in the sera of the great majority of subjects suffering from mycosis fungoides/S├ęzary syndrome or atopic dermatitis, which are considered as disorders characterized by the predominant expansion and activation of Th2 cells, respectively. By contrast, serum MDC levels in subjects with multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease, which are characterized by a Th1 predominance, did not differ significantly from those of healthy controls. Finally, MDC expression was detected in the skin biopsy specimens of subjects with atopic dermatitis, where it was expressed by both dendritic cells and T lymphocytes. Taken together, these findings suggest that MDC production by activated T cells may occur both in vitro and in vivo, particularly in association with Th2 cytokines, thus providing an important amplification circuit for Th2-mediated responses.

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