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J Immunol. 2001 Aug 15;167(4):1862-6.

Cutting edge: selective usage of chemokine receptors by plasmacytoid dendritic cells.

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Roche Milano Ricerche, Milan, Italy.


The existence of dendritic cell (DC) subsets is firmly established, but their trafficking properties are virtually unknown. In this study, we show that myeloid (M-DCs) and plasmacytoid (P-DCs) DCs isolated from human blood differ widely in the capacity to migrate to chemotactic stimuli. The pattern of chemokine receptors expressed by blood M-DCs and P-DCs, with the exception of CCR7, is similar. However, most chemokine receptors of P-DCs, in particular those specific for inflammatory chemokines and classical chemotactic agonists, are not functional in circulating cells. Following maturation induced by CD40 ligation, the receptors for inflammatory chemokines are down-regulated, and CCR7 on P-DCs becomes coupled to migration. The drastically impaired capacity of blood P-DCs to migrate in response to inflammatory chemotactic signals contrasts with the response to lymph node-homing chemokines, indicating a propensity to migrate to secondary lymphoid organs rather than to sites of inflammation.

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