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J Immunol. 2003 Apr 1;170(7):3799-805.

A common mucosal chemokine (mucosae-associated epithelial chemokine/CCL28) selectively attracts IgA plasmablasts.

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Laboratory of Immunology and Vascular Biology, Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Stanford, CA 94305-5324, USA.


IgA immunoblasts can seed both intestinal and nonintestinal mucosal sites following localized mucosal immunization, an observation that has led to the concept of a common mucosal immune system. In this study, we demonstrate that the mucosae-associated epithelial chemokine, MEC (CCL28), which is expressed by epithelia in diverse mucosal tissues, is selectively chemotactic for IgA Ab-secreting cells (ASC): MEC attracts IgA- but not IgG- or IgM-producing ASC from both intestinal and nonintestinal lymphoid and effector tissues, including the intestines, lungs, and lymph nodes draining the bronchopulmonary tree and oral cavity. In contrast, the small intestinal chemokine, TECK (CCL25), attracts an overlapping subpopulation of IgA ASC concentrated in the small intestines and its draining lymphoid tissues. Surprisingly, T cells from mucosal sites fail to respond to MEC. These findings suggest a broad and unifying role for MEC in the physiology of the mucosal IgA immune system.

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