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Eur J Immunol. 2005 Mar;35(3):746-56.

CCL22-induced responses are powerfully enhanced by synergy inducing chemokines via CCR4: evidence for the involvement of first beta-strand of chemokine.

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Institute for Research in Biomedicine, Bellinzona, Switzerland.


In an attempt to clarify how cells integrate the signals provided by multiple chemokines expressed during inflammation, we have uncovered a novel mechanism regulating leukocyte trafficking. Our data indicate that the concomitant exposure to CCR4 agonists and CXCL10/IP-10 strongly enhances the chemotactic response of human T lymphocytes. This enhancement is synergistic rather than additive and occurs via CCR4 since it persists after CXCR3 blockade. Besides chemotaxis, other cellular responses are enhanced upon stimulation of CCR4-transfected cells with CCL22/MDC plus CXCL10. Several other chemokines in addition to CXCL10 were able to increase CCL22-mediated chemotaxis. The first beta-strand of the chemokine structure is highly and specifically implicated in this phenomenon, as established using synergy-inducing and non-synergy-inducing chimeric chemokines. As shown in situ for skin from atopic and allergic contact dermatitis patients, this organ becomes the ideal environment in which skin-homing CCR4(+) T lymphocytes can accumulate under the stimulus offered by CCR4 agonists, together with the synergistic chemokines that are concomitantly expressed. Overall, our results indicate that chemokine-induced synergism strengthens leukocyte recruitment towards tissues co-expressing several chemokines.

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