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Semin Immunol. 2003 Oct;15(5):277-86.

Targeting T cell responses by selective chemokine receptor expression.

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Department of Pathology, Stanford University School of Medicine, CA 94305, USA.


Immune responses require the orchestrated migration of T cells throughout the body. Conventional CD4+ and CD8+ alphabeta T cells undergo clonal expansion in the secondary lymphoid tissues, during which they are programmed to migrate into specific non-lymphoid tissues and other lymphoid effector sites such as B cell follicles. By contrast, T cell populations expressing receptors with limited diversity (i.e. gammadelta T cells and NK T cells) appear to be preprogrammed to localize in non-lymphoid tissues where they monitor tissue integrity or serve regulatory functions. By promoting chemotaxis and integrin activation, chemokines and their receptors (in conjunction with surface adhesion molecules) control these T cell homing events. Thus, expression of chemokine receptors defines T cells with tropism for particular tissues and/or microenvironments, and identifies T cell subsets with distinct functional properties.

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