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Gastroenterology. 2001 Jan;120(1):60-70.

Characterization of epithelial chemoattractants for human intestinal intraepithelial lymphocytes.

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Department of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine, Division of Hematology/Oncology, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.



Although homing of intraepithelial lymphocytes (IEL) into intestinal epithelia seems to be guided by signals from epithelia, little is known concerning functional epithelial-derived chemoattractants for IEL.


Epithelial chemoattractants for IEL were analyzed using chemotaxis chamber system, enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay, and in situ hybridization using human epithelial lines and IEL lines.


Epithelial-conditioned media induced IEL chemotaxis, and this activity was markedly enhanced by prestimulation of epithelia with interferon-(IFN)-gamma. This chemotaxis (stimulation +) was significantly inhibited by neutralizing antibodies to IFN-gamma inducible protein-10 (IP-10) or to monokine induced by IFN-gamma (MIG). Furthermore, while high amounts of IP-10 and MIG were detected in epithelial-conditioned media after IFN-gamma stimulation, equivalent concentrations of recombinant IP-10 and MIG reproduced IEL chemotaxis. Production of IP-10 and MIG in fresh epithelial cells was supported by in situ hybridization and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Lastly, fresh human IEL constitutively expressed CXCR-3 (the common receptor for IP-10 and MIG), and fresh IEL also exhibited chemotaxis to by rIP-10, rMIG, and epithelial-conditioned media.


Epithelial cells produce chemoattractants for IEL, and such chemokine production is regulated by proinflammatory cytokines such as IFN-gamma. IP-10 and MIG may serve as potentially important epithelial chemokines for IEL, especially under inflammatory conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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