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Blood. 2000 Oct 1;96(7):2338-45.

Regulation of CCR6 chemokine receptor expression and responsiveness to macrophage inflammatory protein-3alpha/CCL20 in human B cells.

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  • 1Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale (INSERM) U 131, Institut Paris-Sud sur les Cytokines, Clamart, France.


The regulation of CCR6 (chemokine receptor 6) expression during B-cell ontogeny and antigen-driven B-cell differentiation was analyzed. None of the CD34(+)Lin(-) hematopoietic stem cell progenitors or the CD34(+)CD19(+) (pro-B) or the CD19(+)CD10(+) (pre-B/immature B cells) B-cell progenitors expressed CCR6. CCR6 is acquired when CD10 is lost and B-cell progeny matures, entering into the surface immunoglobulin D(+) (sIgD(+)) mature B-cell pool. CCR6 is expressed by all bone marrow-, umbilical cord blood-, and peripheral blood-derived naive and/or memory B cells but is absent from germinal center (GC) B cells of secondary lymphoid organs. CCR6 is down-regulated after B-cell antigen receptor triggering and remains absent during differentiation into immunoglobulin-secreting plasma cells, whereas it is reacquired at the stage of post-GC memory B cells. Thus, within the B-cell compartment, CCR6 expression is restricted to functionally mature cells capable of responding to antigen challenge. In transmigration chemotactic assays, macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-3alpha/CC chemokine ligand 20 (CCL20) induced vigorous migration of B cells with differential chemotactic preference toward sIgD(-) memory B cells. These data suggest that restricted patterns of CCR6 expression and MIP-3alpha/CCL20 responsiveness are integral parts of the process of B-lineage maturation and antigen-driven B-cell differentiation.

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