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J Immunol. 2003 Jan 15;170(2):1084-90.

Chemoattraction of human T cells by IL-18.

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Division of Immunology, Infection and Inflammation, Faculty of Medicine, University of Glasgow, United Kingdom.


Cell locomotion is crucial to the induction of an effective immune response. We report here the chemoattraction of CD4(+) T cells by IL-18, a member of the IL-1 cytokine family. Recombinant IL-18 increased the proportion of T cells in polarized morphology in vitro and stimulated their subsequent invasion into collagen gels in an IL-18 concentration gradient-dependent manner. Immunofluorescent microscopy studies determined that the major cell type responding to IL-18 was IL-18R(+)CD4(+). Importantly, synovial CD4(+) T cells from patients with rheumatoid arthritis responded to IL-18, adopting polarized morphology and gel invasion without further activation ex vivo, indicating the physiologic relevance of our observations. Finally, injection of rIL-18 into the footpad of DBA/1 mice led to local accumulation of inflammatory cells. These data therefore demonstrate for the first time lymphocyte chemoattractant properties of a member of the IL-1 cytokine family and its relevance in inflammatory diseases.

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