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Eur Respir J. 2010 Jan;35(1):167-75. doi: 10.1183/09031936.00042309. Epub 2009 Jul 16.

The role of chemokine receptors in acute lung allograft rejection.

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Clinical Institute of Pathology, Medical University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria.


Recruitment of inflammatory cells to vascularised allografts is a hallmark of rejection, and paves the way for chronic allograft injury. Chemokines play pivotal roles in the directed movement of leukocytes. Herein, we define the distribution of chemokine receptors for the most common cell types during human lung allograft rejection as a prerequisite for therapeutic interventions. Immunohistochemistry was performed on lung allograft biopsies from 54 patients for the chemokine receptors CCR5, CXCR3 and CXCR1 and the Duffy antigen/receptor for chemokines (DARC). Perivascular infiltrates in acute lung rejection are composed of subsets of mononuclear cells expressing the chemokine receptors CXCR1, CXCR3 and CCR5. DARC-positive small vessels and capillary vessels were associated with sites of inflammation and their number was increased during episodes of acute lung rejection. DARC expression correlated with an increase in interstitial CCR5-positive T-cells and CXCR1-positive leukocytes. Leucokytic infiltrates in bronchial/bronchiolar rejection express CXCR1 and CXCR3. This is the first study that demonstrates an induction of the chemokine binding protein DARC at sites of acute human lung allograft rejection. Co-localisation with the chemokine receptors CXCR1 and CCR5 may indicate a role for DARC expression during leukocyte adhesion and interstitial infiltration.

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