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J Immunol. 1998 Sep 15;161(6):3096-102.

EBI1/CCR7 is a new member of dendritic cell chemokine receptor that is up-regulated upon maturation.

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Pharmaceutical Research Laboratory, Kirin Brewery Co., Ltd., Takasaki, Gunma, Japan.


Dendritic cells (DC) that are stimulated with inflammatory mediators can maturate and migrate from nonlymphoid tissues to lymphoid organs to initiate T cell-mediated immune responses. This migratory step is closely related to the maturation of the DC. In an attempt to identify chemokine receptors that might influence migration and are selectively expressed in mature DC, we have discovered that the chemokine receptor, EBI1/CCR7, is strikingly up-regulated upon maturation in three distinct culture systems: 1) mouse bone marrow-derived DC, 2) mouse epidermal Langerhans cells, and 3) human monocyte-derived DC. The EBI1/CCR7 expressed in mature DC is functional because ELC/MIP-3beta, recently identified as a ligand of EBI1/CCR7, induces a rise in intracellular free calcium concentrations and directional migration of human monocyte-derived mature DC (HLA-DRhigh, CD1a(low), CD14-, CD25+, CD83+, and CD86high) in a dose-dependent manner, but not of immature DC (HLA-DRlow, CD1a(high), CD14-, CD25-, CD83-, and CD86-). In contrast, macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha (MIP-1alpha), monocyte chemotactic protein-3 (MCP-3), and RANTES are active on immature DC but not on mature DC. Thus, it seems likely that MIP-1alpha, MCP-3, and RANTES can mediate the migration of immature DC located in peripheral sites, whereas ELC/MIP-3beta can direct the migration of Ag-carrying DC from peripheral inflammatory sites, where DC are stimulated to up-regulate the expression of EBI1/CCR7, to lymphoid organs. It is postulated that different chemokines and chemokine receptors are involved in DC migration in vivo, depending on the maturation state of DC.

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