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Eur J Immunol. 2001 Dec;31(12):3755-62.

Selective induction of CCL18/PARC by staphylococcal enterotoxins in mononuclear cells and enhanced levels in septic and rheumatoid arthritis.

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Laboratory of Molecular Immunology, Rega Institute for Medical Research, University of Leuven, Leuven, Belgium.


Chemokines are mediators of innate and acquired immunity. CCL18, also designated pulmonary and activation-regulated chemokine (PARC), dendritic cell-derived CC chemokine-1 (DC-CK1), alternative macrophage activation-associated CC chemokine-1 (AMAC-1) and macrophage inflammatory protein-4 (MIP-4), was for the first time isolated from peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) and biochemically characterized. We found that CCL18/PARC protein is spontaneously secreted by PBMC and is selectively induced in PBMC by staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEA, SEB) and IL-4, but not by IFN-gamma and the CXCL8/IL-8 inducers lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or Concanavalin A. Human fibroblasts, chondrocytes and endothelial cells did not produce CCL18/PARC in response to inflammatory mediators such as measles virus, double-stranded RNA, LPS or IL-1beta, whereas up to 150 ng/ml of CCL2/MCP-1 was induced under these conditions. In synovial fluids from septic and rheumatoid arthritis patients, fourfold-enhanced CCL18/PARC levels (150 ng/ml) were detected compared to those in crystal-induced arthritis and osteoarthritis. In septic arthritis, the synovial levels of CCL18/PARC were fivefold higher than those of CXCL8/IL-8. Immunochemistry revealed CD68(+) monocytes/macrophages as the main CCL18/PARC-producing cell type in both PBMC and arthritic synovial tissue. In addition, CD1a(+) blood dendritic cells expressed CCL18/PARC. These findings suggest that monocytic cells respond to Gram-positive bacterial infection by the production of CCL18/PARC in the synovial cavity.

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