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J Immunol. 2000 Apr 15;164(8):4048-54.

Human NK cells express CC chemokine receptors 4 and 8 and respond to thymus and activation-regulated chemokine, macrophage-derived chemokine, and I-309.

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Department of Anatomy, Institute of Basic Medical Sciences, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.


NK cells respond to various chemokines, suggesting that they express receptors for these chemokines. In this paper, we show that IL-2-activated NK (IANK) cells express CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) and CCR8, as determined by flow cytometric, immunoblot, and RNase protection assays. Macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), the ligand for CCR4, induces the phosphorylation of CCR4 within 0.5 min of activating IANK cells with this ligand. This is corroborated with the recruitment of G protein-coupled receptor kinases 2 and 3 and their association with CCR4 in IANK cell membranes. Also, CCR4 is internalized between 5 and 45 min but reappears in the membranes after 60 min of stimulation with MDC. MDC, thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), and I-309 induce the chemotaxis of IANK cells, an activity that is inhibited upon pretreatment of these cells with pertussis toxin, suggesting that receptors for these chemokines are coupled to pertussis toxin-sensitive G proteins. In the calcium release assay, cross-desensitization experiments showed that TARC completely desensitizes the calcium flux response induced by MDC or I-309, whereas both MDC and I-309 partially desensitize the calcium flux response induced by TARC. These results suggest that TARC utilizes CCR4 and CCR8. Our results are the first to show that IL-2-activated NK cells express CCR4 and CCR8, suggesting that these receptors are not exclusive for Th2 cells.

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