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J Exp Med. 2013 Sep 23;210(10):1889-98. doi: 10.1084/jem.20130240. Epub 2013 Sep 2.

Identification of human CCR8 as a CCL18 receptor.

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Center for Immunology and Inflammatory Diseases, Division of Rheumatology, Allergy and Immunology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02114.


The CC chemokine ligand 18 (CCL18) is one of the most highly expressed chemokines in human chronic inflammatory diseases. An appreciation of the role of CCL18 in these diseases has been hampered by the lack of an identified chemokine receptor. We report that the human chemokine receptor CCR8 is a CCL18 receptor. CCL18 induced chemotaxis and calcium flux of human CCR8-transfected cells. CCL18 bound with high affinity to CCR8 and induced its internalization. Human CCL1, the known endogenous CCR8 ligand, and CCL18 competed for binding to CCR8-transfected cells. Further, CCL1 and CCL18 induced heterologous cross-desensitization of CCR8-transfected cells and human Th2 cells. CCL18 induced chemotaxis and calcium flux of human activated highly polarized Th2 cells through CCR8. Wild-type but not Ccr8-deficient activated mouse Th2 cells migrated in response to CCL18. CCL18 and CCR8 were coexpressed in esophageal biopsy tissue from individuals with active eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) and were present at markedly higher levels compared with esophageal tissue isolated from EoE patients whose disease was in remission or in normal controls. Identifying CCR8 as a chemokine receptor for CCL18 will help clarify the biological role of this highly expressed chemokine in human disease.

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