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Semin Immunopathol. 2009 Sep;31(3):309-22. doi: 10.1007/s00281-009-0167-2. Epub 2009 Jun 17.

Lymphocyte recruitment and homing to the liver in primary biliary cirrhosis and primary sclerosing cholangitis.

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Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Clinical Immunology, University of California at Davis School of Medicine, 451 Health Sciences Drive, Suite 6510, Davis, CA 95616, USA.


The mechanisms operating in lymphocyte recruitment and homing to liver are reviewed. A literature review was performed on primary biliary cirrhosis (PBC), progressive sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), and homing mechanisms; a total of 130 papers were selected for discussion. Available data suggest that in addition to a specific role for CCL25 in PSC, the CC chemokines CCL21 and CCL28 and the CXC chemokines CXCL9 and CXCL10 are involved in the recruitment of T lymphocytes into the portal tract in PBC and PSC. Once entering the liver, lymphocytes localize to bile duct and retain by the combinatorial or sequential action of CXCL12, CXCL16, CX3CL1, and CCL28 and possibly CXCL9 and CXCL10. The relative importance of these chemokines in the recruitment or the retention of lymphocytes around the bile ducts remains unclear. The available data remain limited but underscore the importance of recruitment and homing.

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