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Int Arch Allergy Immunol. 2001 Aug;125(4):273-9.

Chemoattractant receptors expressed on type 2 T cells and their role in disease.

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Department of Internal Medicine, Section of Clinical Immunology, Allergy and Respiratory Diseases, University of Florence, Viale Morgagni 85, I-50134 Florence, Italy.


The existence of two functionally distinguished populations among T cells has been established in both mice and humans. Type 1 T helper (Th1) cells are involved in the defense against intracellular bacteria and many viruses, while type 2 Th cells (Th2) are the major actors in the response against parasites and play a central role in allergic inflammation. More recently, several data have suggested that some chemokine receptors are tightly regulated on T cells, and in accordance with this selective expression, Th1 and Th2 cells can be differentially recruited by specific chemokines to the inflammatory sites. Among Th2-associated chemokine receptors, CCR3, CCR4 and CCR8 have been described to play a central role in allergic inflammation. However, CCR3 is mainly expressed on basophils, eosinophils and mast cells, but it is poorly expressed by Th2 cells, and CCR4 is also expressed by Th subsets different from Th2 cells. So far, the chemoattractant receptors which among T cells appear to be selectively expressed by Th2 cells or their subsets are CCR8 and CRTH2. The ligand for CRTH2 is not a chemokine, but is prostaglandin (PG)D2, which is able to attract basophils, eosinophils, Th2 cells and type 2 cytotoxic (Tc2) CD8+ T lymphocytes. The selective expression of CRTH2 on Th2 and Tc2 cells may be useful to develop new therapeutic strategies against allergic diseases and against other immune disorders. Additional studies, however, are required to understand its effective importance in the induction and maintenance of Th2- or Tc2-mediated response and inflammation.

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