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1.  The C-C chemokine receptors CCR4 and CCR8 identify airway T cells of allergen-challenged atopic asthmatics 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2001;107(11):1357-1364.
In vitro polarized human Th2 cells preferentially express the chemokine receptors CCR3, CCR4, and CCR8 and migrate to their ligands: eotaxin, monocyte-derived chemokine (MDC), thymus- and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), and I-309. We have studied the expression of chemokines and chemokine receptors in the airway mucosa of atopic asthmatics. Immunofluorescent analysis of endobronchial biopsies from six asthmatics, taken 24 hours after allergen challenge, demonstrates that virtually all T cells express IL-4 and CCR4. CCR8 is coexpressed with CCR4 on 28% of the T cells, while CCR3 is expressed on eosinophils but not on T cells. Expression of the CCR4-specific ligands MDC and TARC is strongly upregulated on airway epithelial cells upon allergen challenge, suggesting an involvement of this receptor/ligand axis in the regulation of lymphocyte recruitment into the asthmatic bronchi. In contrast to asthma, T cells infiltrating the airways of patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease and pulmonary sarcoidosis produce IFN-γ and express high levels of CXCR3, while lacking CCR4 and CCR8 expression. These data support the role of CCR4, of its ligands MDC and TARC, and of CCR8 in the pathogenesis of allergen-induced late asthmatic responses and suggest that these molecules could be considered as targets for therapeutic intervention.
PMCID: PMC209325  PMID: 11390417
2.  A Key Role for Cc Chemokine Receptor 4 in Lipopolysaccharide-Induced Endotoxic Shock 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2000;191(10):1755-1764.
CC chemokine receptor (CCR)4, a high affinity receptor for the CC chemokines thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC) and macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), is expressed in the thymus and spleen, and also by peripheral blood T cells, macrophages, platelets, and basophils. Recent studies have shown that CCR4 is the major chemokine receptor expressed by T helper type 2 (Th2) polarized cells. To study the in vivo role of CCR4, we have generated CCR4-deficient (CCR4−/−) mice by gene targeting. CCR4−/− mice developed normally. Splenocytes and thymocytes isolated from the CCR4−/− mice failed to respond to the CCR4 ligands TARC and MDC, as expected, but also surprisingly did not undergo chemotaxis in vitro in response to macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1α. The CCR4 deletion had no effect on Th2 differentiation in vitro or in a Th2-dependent model of allergic airway inflammation. However, CCR4−/− mice exhibited significantly decreased mortality on administration of high or low dose bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS) compared with CCR4+/+ mice. After high dose LPS treatment, serum levels of tumor necrosis factor α, interleukin 1β, and MIP-1α were reduced in CCR4−/− mice, and decreased expression of MDC and MIP-2 mRNA was detected in peritoneal exudate cells. Analysis of peritoneal lavage cells from CCR4−/− mice by flow cytometry also revealed a significant decrease in the F4/80+ cell population. This may reflect a defect in the ability of the CCR4−/− macrophages to be retained in the peritoneal cavity. Taken together, our data reveal an unexpected role for CCR4 in the inflammatory response leading to LPS-induced lethality.
PMCID: PMC2193157  PMID: 10811868
CC chemokine receptor 4; lipopolysaccharide; endotoxic shock; F4/80 antigen; T helper type 2 cells
3.  Th1- and Th2-related chemokine and chemokine receptor expression on the ocular surface in endotoxin-induced uveitis 
Molecular Vision  2008;14:2428-2434.
To determine whether the ocular surface inflammation in uveitis mimics or counteracts intraocular inflammatory pathways by directly comparing T-helper (Th) lymphocytes Th1 and Th2 markers in conjunctival and ciliary body expression in endotoxin-induced uveitis (EIU). This study used the following inflammatory markers: chemokine receptor, CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4), and its ligand, macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC), to evaluate Th2 participation; chemokine receptor, CCR5, to evaluate the Th1 system; and its ligand, regulated on activation normal T cell expressed and secreted (RANTES), to evaluate both Th1 and Th2 systems.
Immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction (RT–PCR) were used to compare protein and RNA expression of CCR4, MDC, CCR5, and RANTES in the conjunctiva and ciliary body in EIU 6 h and 24 h after the lipopolysaccharide (LPS) injection and in control (without injection) Lewis rats.
Immunohistochemistry with CCR5, RANTES, and MDC showed an increase in fluorescent staining in the conjunctiva and ciliary body in the rats with uveitis compared to the control rats. For CCR4, immunostaining was comparable in the conjunctiva and ciliary body and did not show any clear differences between control rats and rats with EIU. For RANTES, MDC, and CCR5, RT-PCR showed a significantly higher RNA expression in conjunctiva and in ciliary body at 6 h compared to 24 h and controls. For CCR4, RT-PCR did not illustrate any significant differences in conjunctiva and in ciliary body between all groups of animals.
Protein and RNA expressions of RANTES, MDC, and CCR5 were higher in EIU rats than in control rats in the conjunctiva and ciliary body whereas the CCR4 level was not modified in the conjunctiva and ciliary body of EIU rats when compared to controls. Th1 activation seemed to predominate in this model with high levels of CCR5 expression and no increased expression of CCR4, but Th2 participation with MDC was noted. The expression of RANTES, MDC, CCR4 and CCR5 in EIU was quite similar between the conjunctiva and the ciliary body, so conjunctival inflammation might reproduce the intraocular inflammation, probably generated by local extension and diffusion in this model. If the ocular surface mimics intraocular inflammatory pathways, the conjunctiva may provide a new and easier access for uveitis studies.
PMCID: PMC2605730  PMID: 19104678
4.  CC Chemokine Receptor 4 (CCR4) in human allergen-induced late nasal responses 
Allergy  2010;65(9):1126-1133.
CC Chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) is preferentially expressed on Th2 lymphocytes. CCR4-mediated inflammation may be important in the pathology of allergic rhinitis. Disruption of CCR4 – ligand interaction may abrogate allergen-induced inflammation.
Sixteen allergic rhinitics and six nonatopic individuals underwent both allergen and control (diluent) nasal challenges. Symptom scores and peak nasal inspiratory flow were recorded. Nasal biopsies were taken at 8 h post challenge. Sections were immunostained and examined by light or dual immunofluorescence microscopy for eosinophils, T-lymphocytes, CCR4+CD3+ and CXCR3+CD3+ cells and examined by in situ hybridization for CCR4, IL-4 and IFN-γ mRNA+ cells. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were obtained from peripheral blood of nine normal donors and the CCR4+CD4+ cells assessed for actin polymerization in response to the CCR4 ligand macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC/CCL22) and the influence of a CCR4 antagonist tested.
Allergic rhinitics had increased early and late phase symptoms after allergen challenge compared to diluent; nonatopics did not respond to either challenge. Eosinophils, but not total numbers of CD3+ T cells, were increased in rhinitics following allergen challenge. In rhinitics, there was an increase in CCR4+CD3+ protein-positive cells relative to CXCR3+CD3+ cells; CCR4 mRNA+ cells were increased and IL-4 increased to a greater extent than IFN-γ. CCR4+CD4+ T cells responded to MDC in vitro, and this response was inhibited by the selective CCR4 antagonist.
Lymphocyte CCR4 expression is closely associated with induction of human allergen-induced late nasal responses. Blocking CCR4-ligand interaction may provide a novel therapeutic approach in allergic disease.
PMCID: PMC3380530  PMID: 20148806
allergic rhinitis; CCR4; nasal mucosa; Th2-mediated inflammation
5.  High expression of the chemokine receptor CCR3 in human blood basophils. Role in activation by eotaxin, MCP-4, and other chemokines. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;100(5):1137-1143.
Eosinophil leukocytes express high numbers of the chemokine receptor CCR3 which binds eotaxin, monocyte chemotactic protein (MCP)-4, and some other CC chemokines. In this paper we show that CCR3 is also highly expressed on human blood basophils, as indicated by Northern blotting and flow cytometry, and mediates mainly chemotaxis. Eotaxin and MCP-4 elicited basophil migration in vitro with similar efficacy as regulated upon activation normal T cells expressed and secreted (RANTES) and MCP-3. They also induced the release of histamine and leukotrienes in IL-3-primed basophils, but their efficacy was lower than that of MCP-1 and MCP-3, which were the most potent stimuli of exocytosis. Pretreatment of the basophils with a CCR3-blocking antibody abrogated the migration induced by eotaxin, RANTES, and by low to optimal concentrations of MCP-4, but decreased only minimally the response to MCP-3. The CCR3-blocking antibody also affected exocytosis: it abrogated histamine and leukotriene release induced by eotaxin, and partially inhibited the response to RANTES and MCP-4. In contrast, the antibody did not affect the responses induced by MCP-1, MCP-3, and macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, which may depend on CCR1 and CCR2, two additional receptors detected by Northern blotting with basophil RNA. This study demonstrates that CCR3 is the major receptor for eotaxin, RANTES, and MCP-4 in human basophils, and suggests that basophils and eosinophils, which are the characteristic effector cells of allergic inflammation, depend largely on CCR3 for migration towards different chemokines into inflamed tissues.
PMCID: PMC508288  PMID: 9276730
6.  Increased frequency of CCR4+ and CCR6+ memory T-cells including CCR7+CD45RAmed very early memory cells in granulomatosis with polyangiitis (Wegener's) 
Chemokine receptors play an important role in mediating the recruitment of T cells to inflammatory sites. Previously, small proportions of circulating Th1-type CCR5+ and Th2-type CCR3+ cells have been shown in granulomatosis with polyangiitis (GPA). Wondering to what extent CCR4 and CCR6 expression could also be implicated in T cell recruitment to inflamed sites in GPA, we investigated the expression of CCR4 and CCR6 on T cells and its association with T cell diversity and polarization.
Multicolor flow cytometry was used to analyze CCR4, CCR6, and intracellular cytokine expression of T cells from whole blood of GPA-patients (n = 26) and healthy controls (n = 20). CCR7 and CD45RA were included for phenotypic characterization.
We found a significant increase in the percentages of circulating CCR4+ and CCR6+ cells within the total CD4+ T cell population in GPA. In contrast, there was no difference in the percentages of CD8+CCR4+ and CD8+CCR6+ T cells between GPA and healthy controls. CCR4 and CCR6 expression was largely confined to central (TCM) and effector memory T cells (TEM, TEMRA). A significant increase in the frequency of CCR4+ and CCR6+ TEMRA and CCR6+ TCM was shown in GPA. Of note, we could dissect CCR4 and CCR6 expressing CCR7+CD45RAmed very early memory T cells (TVEM) from genuine CCR7+CD45RAhigh naïve T cells lacking CCR4 and CCR6 expression for peripheral tissue-migration within the CCR7+CD45RA+ compartment. The frequencies of CCR4+ and CCR6+ TVEM were also significantly increased in GPA. An increased percentage of IL-17+ and IL-22+ cells was detected in the CCR6+ cell subsets and IL-4+ cells in the CRR4+ cell subset when compared with CD4+ cells lacking CCR4 and CCR6 expression.
Increased frequencies of circulating CCR4+ and CCR6+ memory T cell subsets including hitherto unreported TVEM suggest persistent T cell activation with the accumulation of CCR4+ and CCR6+ cells in GPA. CCR4 and CCR6 could be involved in the recruitment of T cells including cytokine-producing subsets to inflamed sites in GPA.
PMCID: PMC3446446  PMID: 22490506
7.  Flexible Programs of Chemokine Receptor Expression on Human Polarized T Helper 1 and 2 Lymphocytes  
Chemokines and their receptors are important elements for the selective attraction of various subsets of leukocytes. To better understand the selective migration of functional subsets of T cells, chemokine receptor expression was analyzed using monoclonal antibodies, RNase protection assays, and the response to distinct chemokines. Naive T cells expressed only CXC chemokine receptor (CXCR)4, whereas the majority of memory/activated T cells expressed CXCR3, and a small proportion expressed CC chemokine receptor (CCR)3 and CCR5. When polarized T cell lines were analyzed, CXCR3 was found to be expressed at high levels on T helper cell (Th)0s and Th1s and at low levels on Th2s. In contrast, CCR3 and CCR4 were found on Th2s. This was confirmed by functional responses: only Th2s responded with an increase in [Ca2+]i to the CCR3 and CCR4 agonists eotaxin and thymus and activation regulated chemokine (TARC), whereas only Th0s and Th1s responded to low concentrations of the CXCR3 agonists IFN-γ–inducible protein 10 (IP-10) and monokine induced by IFN-γ (Mig). Although CCR5 was expressed on both Th1 and Th2 lines, it was absent in several Th2 clones and its expression was markedly influenced by interleukin 2. Chemokine receptor expression and association with Th1 and Th2 phenotypes was affected by other cytokines present during polarization. Transforming growth factor β inhibited CCR3, but enhanced CCR4 and CCR7 expression, whereas interferon α inhibited CCR3 but upregulated CXCR3 and CCR1. These results demonstrate that chemokine receptors are markers of naive and polarized T cell subsets and suggest that flexible programs of chemokine receptor gene expression may control tissue-specific migration of effector T cells.
PMCID: PMC2212187  PMID: 9500790
8.  CCR4 blockade does not inhibit allergic airways inflammation 
Journal of leukocyte biology  2003;74(4):558-563.
The CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) shows selectivity for the recruitment of memory T cell subsets, including those of the T helper cell type 2 (Th2) phenotype. In humans, CCR4+ T cells are recruited to the asthmatic lung in response to allergen challenge; however, the contribution of this pathway to allergic disease remains uncertain. We therefore investigated the role of CCR4 in allergic airways inflammation in the guinea pig. Blockade of CCR4 with a specific antibody resulted in only minor changes in numbers of CCR4+ Th cells in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid of allergen-challenged guinea pigs and failed to inhibit the generation of eotaxin/CC chemokine ligand (CCL)11 or macrophage-derived chemokine/CCL22 or the recruitment of inflammatory leukocytes to the lung. These data suggest that although CCR4 was originally proposed as a marker of Th2 status, antigen-specific Th2 cells are recruited to the lung predominantly by other pathways. This study casts doubts on the validity of CCR4 as a therapeutic target in the treatment of asthma.
PMCID: PMC3428841  PMID: 12960268
T lymphocytes; chemokines; allergy
9.  T Helper Cell Type 2 Cytokine–Mediated Comitogenic Responses and Ccr3 Expression during Differentiation of Human Mast Cells in Vitro 
Mast cells (MCs) arise in situ from circulating stem cell factor (SCF)-dependent committed progenitors (PrMCs) and accumulate at sites of allergic mucosal inflammation. We hypothesized that human (h)PrMCs and their mature counterparts might share overlapping patterns of chemokine and cytokine receptor utilization with eosinophils, basophils, and T helper type 2 (Th2) lymphocytes for their homing and allergy-associated hyperplasia. We have characterized committed hPrMCs and fully mature hMCs derived in vitro from cord blood for their functional responses to chemokine and cytokine agonists germane to allergic inflammation and for their maturation-related expression of the corresponding receptors. After 4 wk of culture in the presence of recombinant stem cell factor (SCF), interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-10, the cells were characterized as hPrMCs based upon their uniform surface expression of c-kit and CD13, low-level expression of Fc∈RIα, absence of CD14 and CD16 expression, and immunoreactivity for MC chymase in >80%, and about half were immunoreactive for tryptase and metachromatic with toluidine blue. By week 9, the cells had matured into hMCs, identified by higher levels of c-kit, continued expression of CD13 and low-level Fc∈RIα, uniform toluidine blue metachromasia, and uniform immunoreactivity for both tryptase and chymase. The 4-wk-old hPrMCs expressed four chemokine receptors (CXCR2, CCR3, CXCR4, and CCR5). Each receptor mediated transient rapid calcium fluxes in response to its respective ligand. Both recombinant human eotaxin and stromal cell–derived factor 1α elicited chemotaxis of hPrMCs. Only CCR3 was retained on the mature 9-wk-old hMCs from among these chemokine receptors, and hMCs responded to eotaxin with a sustained calcium flux but without chemotaxis. The Th2 cytokines IL-3, IL-5, IL-6, IL-9, and granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor each augmented the SCF-dependent proliferation of hPrMCs and hMCs. In contrast, the prototypical Th1 cytokine, interferon γ, suppressed SCF-driven proliferation of both hPrMCs and hMCs. Thus, throughout their development in vitro, hMCs obey SCF-dependent, cytokine-driven mitogenic responses that reflect a Th2-type polarization characteristic of allergy and asthma. Furthermore, committed hPrMCs have a unique profile of chemokine receptor expression from among reported hematopoietic cells, including CCR3, which is shared with the other cells central to allergic inflammation (eosinophils, basophils, and Th2 lymphocytes).
PMCID: PMC2195573  PMID: 10432289
chemokines; asthma; HIV; calcium flux; stem cell factor
10.  Cytokine, activation marker, and chemokine receptor expression by individual CD4+ memory T cells in rheumatoid arthritis synovium 
Arthritis Research  2000;2(5):415-423.
IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, LT-α, CD154, and TNF-related activation-induced cytokine (TRANCE) were expressed by 2-20% of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) synovial tissue CD4+ memory T cells, whereas CD4+ cells that produced IL-2, IL-4, or IL-6 were not detected. Expression of none of these molecules by individual CD4+ cells correlated with the exception of TRANCE and IL-10, and TRANCE and TNF-α . A correlation between expression of IL-10 and CCR7, LT-α and CCR6, IFN-γ and CCR5, and TRANCE and CXCR4 was also detected.
In RA large numbers of CD4+ memory T cells infiltrate the inflamed synovium [1,2,3]. The accumulated CD4+ memory T cells in the RA synovium appear to be activated, because they express cytokines and activation markers [4,5,6,7,8]. Expressed cytokines and activation markers should play important roles in the pathogenesis of RA. However, the frequency of cytokine expression by RA synovial CD4+ T cells has not been analyzed accurately. Recently, the roles of chemokine and chemokine receptor interactions in T-cell migration have been intensively examined. Interactions of chemokine and chemokine receptors might therefore be important in the accumulation of the CD4+ T cells in the RA synovium. Accordingly, correlation of cytokine and chemokine receptor expression might be important in delineating the function and potential means of accumulation of individual CD4+ memory T cells in the RA synovium.
In the present study we analyzed cytokine (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ , TNF-α , and LT-α ), activation marker (CD154 [CD40 ligand] and TRANCE - also called receptor activator of nuclear factor κ B ligand [RANKL] or osteoclast differentiation factor [ODF]), and chemokine receptor expression by individual CD4+ memory T cells isolated from rheumatoid synovium and blood. To achieve this we employed a single-cell reverse transcription (RT) polymerase chain reaction (PCR) technique. This technique made it possible to correlate mRNAs expressed by individual CD4+ memory T cells in the synovium and blood.
Materials and method:
Synovial tissues from three RA patients and peripheral blood mononuclear cells from two RA patients and a normal donor were analyzed.
Cytokine (IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-10, IL-13, IFN-γ, TNF-α, and LT-α ) and activation marker (CD154 and TRANCE) expression by individual CD4+CD45RO+ T cells from RA synovium or blood were analyzed using a single-cell RT-PCR. In brief, single CD4+CD45RO+T cells was sorted into each well of a 96-well PCR plate using a flow cytometer. cDNA from individual cells was prepared, and then the cDNA was nonspecifically amplified. The product was then amplified by PCR using gene-specific primers to analyze cytokine and activation marker expression.
Cytokine and activation marker expression by individual CD4+CD45RO+T cells from RA synovial tissues was analyzed using a single-cell RT-PCR method. Expression of mRNAs was analyzed in 152 individual synovial tissue CD4+CD45RO+ T cells sorted from three RA patients in which T-cell receptor (TCR) Cβ mRNA was detected. Frequencies of CD4+ memory T cells expressing cytokine and activation marker mRNA in RA synovium are shown in Table 1. IL-2, IL-4, and IL-6 were not expressed by the synovial tissue CD4+CD45RO+ T cells, whereas 2-20% of cells expressed the other cytokine mRNAs.
Few correlations between cytokine and activation marker mRNAs were observed. Notably, no cells contained both IFN-γ and LT-α mRNAs, cytokines that are thought to define the T-helper (Th)1 phenotype [9]. However, the frequency of TRANCE-positive cells in IL-10-positive cells was significantly higher than that in IL-10-negative cells (Table 2). Moreover, the frequency of TRANCE-positive cells in TNF-α-positive cells was also significantly higher than that in TNF-α-negative cells.
Varying percentages of CD4+ memory T cells expressed CC and CXC chemokine receptors. The frequency of CCR5-positive cells in IFN-γ-positive cells was significantly higher than that in IFN-γ-negative cells, whereas the frequency of CCR6-positive cells in LT-α-positive cells was significantly higher than that in LT-α-negative cells, and the frequency of CCR7-positive cells in IL-10-positive cells was significantly higher than that in IL-10-negative cells. Furthermore, the frequency of CXCR4-positive cells in TRANCE-positive cells was significantly higher than that in TRANCE-negative cells.
Expression of cytokine and activation marker mRNAs was also analyzed in 48 individual peripheral blood CD4+CD45RO+ T cells from two RA patients. IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, and LT-α were not expressed by the peripheral CD4+CD45RO+ T cells, whereas 4-17% of cells expressed the other markers. The most striking difference between synovial tissue and peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells was the presence of LT-α expression in the former, but not in the latter. IFN-γ and TNF-α were not expressed by normal peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells, although they were expressed by RA peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells.
The present study employed a single-cell PCR technology to analyze cytokine expression by unstimulated RA synovial tissue CD4+ memory T cells immediately after isolation, without in vitro manipulation. The results confirm the Th1 nature of rheumatoid inflammation. It is noteworthy that no individual synovial CD4+ memory T cells expressed both IFN-γ and LT-α mRNAs, even though these are the prototypic Th1 cytokines [9]. These results imply that, in the synovium, regulation of IFN-γ and LT-α must vary in individual cells, even though both Th1 cytokines can be produced.
The present data showed that CCR5 expression correlated with IFN-γ but not with LT-α expression by synovial CD4+ memory T cells. It has been reported that CCR5 expression is upregulated in RA synovial fluid and synovial tissue T cells [10,11,12] and that CCR5 Δ 32 deletion may have an influence on clinical manifestations of RA [13], suggesting that CCR5 might play an important role in RA. Recently, it has been claimed that CCR5 was preferentially expressed by Th1 cell lines [14,15]. However, in the present study CCR5 was not expressed by all IFN-γ-expressing cells. Moreover, CCR5 expression did not correlate with expression of LT-α by RA synovial CD4+ memory T cells. Therefore, it is unclear whether CCR5 is a marker of Th1 cells in RA synovium.
IL-10 expression correlated with CCR7 expression by RA synovial CD4+ memory T cells. Recently, it was reported [16] that in the blood CCR7+CD4+ memory T cells express lymph-node homing receptors and lack immediate effector function, but efficiently stimulate dendritic cells. These cells may play a unique role in the synovium as opposed to in the blood. By producing IL-10, they might have an immunoregulatory function. In addition, IL-10 expression also correlated with expression of TRANCE. Although it is possible that IL-10 produced by these cells inhibited T-cell activation in the synovium, TRANCE expressed by these same cells might function to activate dendritic cells and indirectly stimulate T cells, mediating inflammation in the synovium. These results imply that individual T cells in the synovium might have different, and sometimes opposite functional activities.
LT-α expression correlated with CCR6 expression by synovial CD4+ memory T cells. It has been reported that CCR6 is expressed by resting peripheral memory T cells [17], whereas LT-α expression is associated with the presence of lymphocytic aggregates in synovial tissue [7]. The correlation between the expression of these two markers therefore suggests the possibility that CCR6 may play a role in the development of aggregates of CD4+ T cells that are characteristically found in rheumatoid synovium.
TRANCE is known to be expressed by activated T cells, and can stimulate dendritic cells and osteoclasts [18]. Of note, TRANCE-mediated activation of osteoclasts has recently been shown [19] to play an important role in the damage to bone that is found in experimental models of inflammatory arthritis. It is therefore of interest that TRANCE was expressed by 3-16% of the RA synovial CD4+ memory T cells. Of note, 67% of TNF-α-positive cells expressed TRANCE. In concert, TNF-α and TRANCE expressed by this subset of CD4+ memory T cells might make them particularly important in mediating the bony erosions that are characteristic of RA.
Interestingly, there was a correlation between expression of IFN-γ and IL-10 in RA peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells. In RA peripheral blood, CD154 expression correlated with that of CXCR3 by CD4+ memory T cells. It has been claimed [15] that CXCR3 is preferentially expressed by in vitro generated Th1 cells. However, in the present study CXCR3 did not correlate with IFN-γ expression. Although IFN-γ and TNF-α mRNAs were expressed in vivo by peripheral blood CD4+ T cells from RA patients, LT-α mRNA was not detected, whereas IFN-γ , TNF-α , and LT-α were not detected in samples from healthy donors. These findings indicate that RA peripheral blood CD4+ memory T cells are stimulated in vivo, although they do not express LT-α mRNA. The present studies indicate that the frequencies of CD4+ memory T cells that expressed IFN-γ in the blood and in the synovium are comparable. These results imply that activated CD4+ memory T cells migrate between blood and synovium, although the direction of the trafficking is unknown. The presence of LT-α mRNA in synovium, but not in blood, indicates that CD4+ memory cells are further activated in the synovium, and that these activated CD4+ memory T cells are retained in the synovium until LT-α mRNA decreases.
In conclusion, CD4+ memory T cells are biased toward Th1 cells in RA synovium and peripheral blood. In the synovium, IFN-γ and LT-α were produced by individual cells, whereas in the rheumatoid blood no LT-α-producing cells were detected. Furthermore, there were modest correlations between individual cells that expressed particular cytokines, such as IL-10, and certain chemokine receptor mRNAs.
PMCID: PMC17818  PMID: 11056676
chemokine receptor; cytokine; rheumatoid arthritis; T lymphocyte
11.  Chemokine responsiveness of CD4+ CD25+ regulatory and CD4+ CD25− T cells from atopic and nonatopic donors 
Allergy  2009;64(8):10.1111/j.1398-9995.2008.01962.x.
Allergic inflammation is associated with Th2-type T cells, which can be suppressed by CD4+ CD25+ regulatory T cells (Tregs). Both express chemokine receptors (CCR) 4 and CCR8, but the dynamics of expression and effect of atopic status are unknown.
To examine the expression of chemokine receptors by CD4+ CD25+ and CD4+ CD25− T cells from atopic and nonatopic donors, and document response to allergen stimulation in vitro.
Chemokine receptor expression was examined by flow cytometry and quantitative PCR of CD4+ CD25hi and CD4+ CD25− T cells from atopics and nonatopics. Responsiveness to chemokines was by actin polymerization. Dynamics of chemokine receptor expression in 6-day allergen-stimulated cultures was analysed by carboxyfluoroscein succinimidyl ester labelling.
CD4+ CD25hi Tregs preferentially expressed CCR3, CCR4, CCR5, CCR6 and CCR8. CD4+ CD25hi Tregs responded to the chemokine ligands for CCR4, CCR6 and CCR8 (CCL17, 22, 20 and 1 respectively), with no differences between atopic and nonatopic donors. Over 6-day allergen stimulation, CD4+ CD25+ T-cells downregulated CCR4 and upregulated CCR7, in contrast to CD4+ CD25− effector cells, which downregulated CCR7 and upregulated CCR4.
CCR4, CCR6 and CCR8 have potential roles in localization of both CD4+ CD25+ regulatory and CD4+ CD25− effector T cells to sites of allergic inflammation. Upregulation of CCR7 and downregulation of CCR4 upon allergen stimulation of Tregs may allow their recirculation from sites of inflammation, in contrast to retention of effector T cells.
PMCID: PMC3807784  PMID: 19208087
allergic inflammation; atopy; chemokine receptors; chemokines; regulatory T cells
12.  Temporal expression and cellular origin of CC chemokine receptors CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 in the central nervous system: insight into mechanisms of MOG-induced EAE 
The CC chemokine receptors CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 are critical for the recruitment of mononuclear phagocytes to the central nervous system (CNS) in multiple sclerosis (MS) and other neuroinflammatory diseases. Mononuclear phagocytes are effector cells capable of phagocytosing myelin and damaging axons. In this study, we characterize the regional, temporal and cellular expression of CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 mRNA in the spinal cord of rats with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein-induced experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (MOG-EAE). While resembling human MS, this animal model allows unique access to CNS-tissue from various time-points of relapsing neuroinflammation and from various lesional stages: early active, late active, and inactive completely demyelinated lesions.
The expression of CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 mRNA was studied with in situ hybridization using radio labelled cRNA probes in combination with immunohistochemical staining for phenotypic cell markers. Spinal cord sections from healthy rats and rats with MOG-EAE (acute phase, remission phase, relapse phase) were analysed. In defined lesion stages, the number of cells expressing CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 mRNA was determined. Data were statistically analysed by the nonparametric Mann-Whitney U test.
In MOG-EAE rats, extensive up-regulation of CCR1 and CCR5 mRNA, and moderate up-regulation of CCR2 mRNA, was found in the spinal cord during episodes of active inflammation and demyelination. Double staining with phenotypic cell markers identified the chemokine receptor mRNA-expressing cells as macrophages/microglia. Expression of all three receptors was substantially reduced during clinical remission, coinciding with diminished inflammation and demyelination in the spinal cord. Healthy control rats did not show any detectable expression of CCR1, CCR2 or CCR5 mRNA in the spinal cord.
Our results demonstrate that the acute and chronic-relapsing phases of MOG-EAE are associated with distinct expression of CCR1, CCR2, and CCR5 mRNA by cells of the macrophage/microglia lineage within the CNS lesions. These data support the notion that CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 mediate recruitment of both infiltrating macrophages and resident microglia to sites of CNS inflammation. Detailed knowledge of expression patterns is crucial for the understanding of therapeutic modulation and the validation of CCR1, CCR2 and CCR5 as feasible targets for therapeutic intervention in MS.
PMCID: PMC1884136  PMID: 17484785
13.  Low CCR7-Mediated Migration of Human Monocyte Derived Dendritic Cells in Response to Human Respiratory Syncytial Virus and Human Metapneumovirus 
PLoS Pathogens  2011;7(6):e1002105.
Human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) and, to a lesser extent, human metapneumovirus (HMPV) and human parainfluenza virus type 3 (HPIV3), can re-infect symptomatically throughout life without significant antigenic change, suggestive of incomplete or short-lived immunity. In contrast, re-infection by influenza A virus (IAV) largely depends on antigenic change, suggestive of more complete immunity. Antigen presentation by dendritic cells (DC) is critical in initiating the adaptive immune response. Antigen uptake by DC induces maturational changes that include decreased expression of the chemokine receptors CCR1, CCR2, and CCR5 that maintain DC residence in peripheral tissues, and increased expression of CCR7 that mediates the migration of antigen-bearing DC to lymphatic tissue. We stimulated human monocyte-derived DC (MDDC) with virus and found that, in contrast to HPIV3 and IAV, HMPV and HRSV did not efficiently decrease CCR1, 2, and 5 expression, and did not efficiently increase CCR7 expression. Consistent with the differences in CCR7 mRNA and protein expression, MDDC stimulated with HRSV or HMPV migrated less efficiently to the CCR7 ligand CCL19 than did IAV-stimulated MDDC. Using GFP-expressing recombinant virus, we showed that the subpopulation of MDDC that was robustly infected with HRSV was particularly inefficient in chemokine receptor modulation. HMPV- or HRSV-stimulated MDDC responded to secondary stimulation with bacterial lipopolysaccharide or with a cocktail of proinflammatory cytokines by increasing CCR7 and decreasing CCR1, 2 and 5 expression, and by more efficient migration to CCL19, suggesting that HMPV and HRSV suboptimally stimulate rather than irreversibly inhibit MDDC migration. This also suggests that the low concentration of proinflammatory cytokines released from HRSV- and HMPV-stimulated MDDC is partly responsible for the low CCR7-mediated migration. We propose that inefficient migration of HRSV- and HMPV-stimulated DC to lymphatic tissue contributes to reduced adaptive responses to these viruses.
Author Summary
The respiratory viruses human respiratory syncytial virus (HRSV) and, to a lesser extent, human metapneumovirus virus (HMPV) and human parainfluenza virus (HPIV3), can re-infect humans throughout life without significant antigenic change, suggesting that immunity to these viruses is incomplete. In contrast, re-infection by influenza A virus (IAV) depends on antigenic change, suggestive of more complete immunity. Dendritic cells (DC) take up virus antigen at the site of infection, undergo maturation, and migrate to the lymphatic tissue to present antigen to T lymphocytes, orchestrating the immune response. In response to antigen uptake, DC switch chemokine receptors on their surface, decreasing expression of receptors for inflammatory chemokines in the infected tissue, and increasing expression of CCR7, the sole chemokine receptor that directs DC to migrate to lymphatic tissue. By stimulating human DC in vitro, we found that, in contrast to HPIV3 and IAV, HMPV and HRSV did not efficiently induce the switching of these surface receptors. In cell migration assays, we showed that, compared with IAV-treated DC, HRSV- or HMPV-treated DC migrated less efficiently to CCL19, a chemokine that directs T cell migration to lymphatic tissue. Thus, during infection with HRSV and HMPV, inefficient migration of DC to the lymphatics could reduce the adaptive immune response to these viruses.
PMCID: PMC3121884  PMID: 21731495
14.  Requirement for Chemokine Receptor 5 in the Development of Allergen-Induced Airway Hyperresponsiveness and Inflammation 
Chemokine receptor (CCR) 5 is expressed on dendritic cells, macrophages, CD8 cells, memory CD4 T cells, and stromal cells, and is frequently used as a marker of T helper type 1 cells. Interventions that abrogate CCR5 or interfere with its ligand binding have been shown to alter T helper type 2–induced inflammatory responses. The role of CCR5 on allergic airway responses is not defined. CCR5-deficient (CCR5−/−) and wild-type (CCR5+/+) mice were sensitized and challenged with ovalbumin (OVA) and allergic airway responses were monitored 48 hours after the last OVA challenge. Cytokine levels in lung cell culture supernatants were also assessed. CCR5−/− mice showed significantly lower airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) and lower numbers of total cells, eosinophils, and lymphocytes in bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid compared with CCR5+/+ mice after sensitization and challenge. The levels of IL-4 and IL-13 in BAL fluid of CCR5−/− mice were lower than in CCR5+/+ mice. Decreased numbers of lung T cells were also detected in CCR5−/− mice after sensitization and challenge. Transfer of OVA-sensitized T cells from CCR5+/+, but not transfer of CCR5−/− cells, into CCR5−/− mice restored AHR and numbers of eosinophils in BAL fluid after OVA challenge. Accordingly, the numbers of airway-infiltrating donor T cells were significantly higher in the recipients of CCR5+/+ T cells. Taken together, these data suggest that CCR5 plays a pivotal role in allergen-induced AHR and airway inflammation, and that CCR5 expression on T cells is essential to the accumulation of these cells in the airways.
PMCID: PMC3262662  PMID: 21757680
rodent; T cells; cytokines; chemokines; lung
15.  Heterogeneity of CD4 and CD8+ memory T cells in localized and generalized Wegener's granulomatosis 
Arthritis Research & Therapy  2002;5(1):R25-R31.
Memory T cells display phenotypic heterogeneity. Surface antigens previously regarded as exclusive markers of naive T cells, such as L-selectin (CD62L), can also be detected on some memory T cells. Moreover, a fraction of CD45RO+ (positive for the short human isoform of CD45) memory T cells reverts to the CD45RA+ (positive for the long human isoform of CD45) phenotype. We analyzed patients with biopsy-proven localized Wegener's granulomatosis (WG) (n = 5), generalized WG (n = 16) and age- and sex-matched healthy controls (n = 13) to further characterize memory T cells in WG. The cell-surface expression of CD45RO, CD45RA, CD62L, CCR3, CCR5 and CXCR3 was determined on blood-derived T cells by four-color flow cytometric analysis. The fractions of CCR5+ and CCR3+ cells within the CD4+CD45RO+ and CD8+CD45RO+ memory T cell populations were significantly expanded in localized and generalized WG. The mean percentage of Th1-type CCR5 expression was higher in localized WG. Upregulated CCR5 and CCR3 expression could also be detected on a fraction of CD45RA+ T cells. CD62L expression was seen on approximately half of the memory T cell populations expressing chemokine receptors. This study demonstrates for the first time that expression of the inducible inflammatory chemokine receptors CCR5 and CCR3 on CD45RO+ memory T cells, as well as on CD45RA+ T cells ('revertants'), contributes to phenotypic heterogeneity in an autoimmune disease, namely WG. Upregulated CCR5 and CCR3 expression suggests that the cells belong to the effector memory T cell population. CCR5 and CCR3 expression on CD4+ and CD8+ memory T cells indicates a potential to respond to chemotactic gradients and might be important in T cell migration contributing to granuloma formation and vasculitis in WG.
PMCID: PMC154430  PMID: 12716450
CD45RA revertant; CD62L; chemokine receptor; effector memory T cell; Wegener's granulomatosis
16.  Elevated serum levels of macrophage-derived chemokine and thymus and activation-regulated chemokine in autistic children 
In some autistic children, there is an imbalance of T helper (Th)1/Th2 lymphocytes toward Th2, which may be responsible for the induction of the production of autoantibodies in these children. Th2 lymphocytes express CCR4 receptors. CCR4 ligands include macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC) and thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC). They direct trafficking and recruitment of Th2 cells. We are the first to measure serum levels of CCR4 ligands in relation to the degree of the severity of autism.
Serum concentrations of MDC and TARC were measured, by quantitative sandwich enzyme immunoassay technique, in 56 autistic children and 32 healthy matched children.
Autistic children had significantly higher serum levels of MDC and TARC than healthy controls (P <0.001 and P <0.001, respectively). Children with severe autism had significantly higher serum levels of MDC and TARC than patients with mild to moderate autism (P <0.001 and P = 0.01, respectively). In addition, there were significant positive correlations between CARS and serum levels of both MDC (P <0.001) and TARC (P <0.001) in children with autism. There were significant positive correlations between serum levels of MDC and TARC in autistic children (P <0.001).
Serum levels of CCR4 ligands were elevated in autistic children and they were significantly correlated to the degree of the severity of autism. However, further research is warranted to determine the pathogenic role of CCR4 ligands in autism and to shed light on the therapeutic role of CCR4-ligand antagonism in autistic children.
PMCID: PMC3704803  PMID: 23782855
Autism; Autoimmunity; Childhood Autism Rating Scale; CCR4 ligands; Macrophage-derived chemokine; Thymus and activation-regulated chemokine
17.  Chemokine Receptor CCR8 Is Required for Lipopolysaccharide-Triggered Cytokine Production in Mouse Peritoneal Macrophages 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(4):e94445.
Chemokine (C-C motif) receptor 8 (CCR8), the chemokine receptor for chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 1 (CCL1), is expressed in T-helper type-2 lymphocytes and peritoneal macrophages (PMφ) and is involved in various pathological conditions, including peritoneal adhesions. However, the role of CCR8 in inflammatory responses is not fully elucidated. To investigate the function of CCR8 in macrophages, we compared cytokine secretion from mouse PMφ or bone marrow-derived macrophages (BMMφ) stimulated with various Toll-like receptor (TLR) ligands in CCR8 deficient (CCR8-/-) and wild-type (WT) mice. We found that CCR8-/- PMφ demonstrated attenuated secretion of tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-6, and IL-10 when stimulated with lipopolysaccharide (LPS). In particular, LPS-induced IL-10 production absolutely required CCR8. CCR8-dependent cytokine secretion was characteristic of PMφ but not BMMφ. To further investigate this result, we selected the small molecule compound R243 from a library of compounds with CCR8-antagonistic effects on CCL1-induced Ca2+ flux and CCL1-driven PMφ aggregation. Similar to CCR8-/- PMφ, R243 attenuated secretion of TNF-α, IL-6, and most strikingly IL-10 from WT PMφ, but not BMMφ. CCR8-/- PMφ and R243-treated WT PMφ both showed suppressed c-jun N-terminal kinase activity and nuclear factor-κB signaling after LPS treatment when compared with WT PMφ. A c-Jun signaling pathway inhibitor also produced an inhibitory effect on LPS-induced cytokine secretion that was similar to that of CCR8 deficiency or R243 treatment. As seen in CCR8-/- mice, administration of R243 attenuated peritoneal adhesions in vivo. R243 also prevented hapten-induced colitis. These results are indicative of cross talk between signaling pathways downstream of CCR8 and TLR-4 that induces cytokine production by PMφ. Through use of CCR8-/- mice and the new CCR8 inhibitor, R243, we identified a novel macrophage innate immune response pathway that involves a chemokine receptor.
PMCID: PMC3979852  PMID: 24714157
18.  Production of the novel C-C chemokine MCP-4 by airway cells and comparison of its biological activity to other C-C chemokines. 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  1997;99(5):926-936.
Monocyte chemotactic protein-4 (MCP-4) is a newly identified C-C chemokine with potent eosinophil chemoattractant properties. We describe studies of its biological activity in vitro to induce chemotaxis of peripheral blood eosinophils and to induce histamine release from IL-3-primed peripheral blood basophils. MCP-4 and eotaxin caused a similar rise in eosinophil intracytoplasmic Ca2+ and complete cross-desensitization. MCP-4 also abolished the eosinophil Ca2+ response to MCP-3 and partially desensitized the response to macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha. MCP-4 activated cell migration via either CCR2b or CCR3 in mouse lymphoma cells transfected with these chemokine receptors. MCP-4 inhibited binding of 125I-eotaxin to eosinophils and CCR3-transfected cells and inhibited 125I-MCP-1 binding to CCR2b-transfectants. MCP-4 mRNA was found in cells collected in bronchoalveolar lavage of asthmatic and nonasthmatic subjects and was prominently expressed in human lung and heart. MCP-4 mRNA was expressed in several human bronchial epithelial cell lines after cytokine stimulation. Pretreatment of BEAS-2B epithelial cells with the glucocorticoid budesonide inhibited MCP-4 mRNA expression. These features make MCP-4 a candidate for playing a role in eosinophil recruitment during allergic respiratory diseases.
PMCID: PMC507900  PMID: 9062350
19.  Macrophage-Derived Chemokine (MDC/CCL22) is a Novel Mediator of Lung Inflammation Following Hemorrhage and Resuscitation 
Shock (Augusta, Ga.)  2014;42(6):525-531.
Resuscitation of patients after hemorrhage often results in pulmonary inflammation and places them at risk for the development of acute respiratory distress syndrome. Our previous data indicate that macrophage-derived chemokine (MDC/CCL22) is elevated after resuscitation, but its direct role in this inflammatory response is unknown. MDC signaling through the C-C chemokine receptor type 4 (CCR4) is implicated in other pulmonary proinflammatory conditions, leading us to hypothesize that MDC may also play a role in the pathogenesis of lung inflammation following hemorrhage and resuscitation. To test this, C57BL/6 mice underwent pressure-controlled hemorrhage followed by resuscitation with lactated Ringer’s solution. Pulmonary inflammation and inflammatory cell recruitment were analyzed with histological staining, and serum- and tissue-level cytokines were measured by ELISA. Pulmonary inflammation and cell recruitment following hemorrhage and resuscitation were associated with systemic MDC levels. Inhibition of MDC via injection of a specific neutralizing antibody prior to hemorrhage and resuscitation significantly reduced pulmonary levels of the chemotactic cytokines KC, MIP-2, and MIP-1α as well as inflammatory cell recruitment to the lungs. Intravenous administration of recombinant MDC prior to resuscitation augmented pulmonary inflammation and cell recruitment. Histological evaluation revealed the expression of CCR4 within the bronchial epithelium, and in vitro treatment of activated bronchial epithelial cells with MDC resulted in production and secretion of neutrophil chemokines. The present study identifies MDC as a novel mediator of lung inflammation after hemorrhage and resuscitation. MDC neutralization may provide a therapeutic strategy to mitigate this inflammatory response.
PMCID: PMC4236272  PMID: 25136780
hemorrhagic shock; pulmonary neutrophil recruitment; CCR4; bronchial epithelium
20.  Peripheral Blood CCR4+CCR6+ and CXCR3+CCR6+ CD4+ T Cells Are Highly Permissive to HIV-1 Infection 
There is limited knowledge on the identity of primary CD4+ T cell subsets selectively targeted by HIV-1 in vivo. In this study, we established a link between HIV permissiveness, phenotype/homing potential, and lineage commitment in primary CD4+ T cells. CCR4+CCR6+, CCR4+CCR6−, CXCR3+CCR6+, and CXCR3+CCR6− T cells expressed cytokines and transcription factors specific for Th17, Th2, Th1Th17, and Th1 lineages, respectively. CCR4+CCR6+ and CXCR3+CCR6+ T cells expressed the HIV coreceptors CCR5 and CXCR4 and were permissive to R5 and X4 HIV replication. CCR4+CCR6− T cells expressed CXCR4 but not CCR5 and were permissive to X4 HIV only. CXCR3+CCR6− T cells expressed CCR5 and CXCR4 but were relatively resistant to R5 and X4 HIV in vitro. Total CCR6+ T cells compared with CCR6− T cells harbored higher levels of integrated HIV DNA in treatment-naive HIV-infected subjects. The frequency of total CCR6+ T cells and those of CCR4+CCR6+ and CXCR3+CCR6+ T cells were diminished in chronically infected HIV-positive subjects, despite viral-suppressive therapy. A high-throughput analysis of cytokine profiles identified CXCR3+CCR6+ T cells as a major source of TNF-α and CCL20 and demonstrated a decreased TNF-α/IL-10 ratio in CXCR3+CCR6− T cells. Finally, CCR4+CCR6+ and CXCR3+CCR6+ T cells exhibited gut- and lymph node-homing potential. Thus, we identified CCR4+CCR6+ and CXCR3+CCR6+ T cells as highly permissive to HIV replication, with potential to infiltrate and recruit more CCR6+ T cells into anatomic sites of viral replication. It is necessary that new therapeutic strategies against HIV interfere with viral replication/persistence in discrete CCR6+ T cell subsets.
PMCID: PMC4321756  PMID: 20042588
21.  CCR4 Participation in Th Type 1 (Mycobacterial) and Th Type 2 (Schistosomal) Anamnestic Pulmonary Granulomatous Responses1 
CCR4 is purported to be a Th type 2 (Th2) cell-biased receptor but its functional role is unclear. Recent studies suggest that chemokine receptor expression and function are more complex in vivo and raise doubts regarding restricted CCR4 expression by Th2 cells. To address these issues, we analyzed the role of CCR4 in highly polarized models of Th type 1 (Th1) and Th2 cell-mediated pulmonary granulomas, respectively, elicited by i.v. challenge of primed mice with either mycobacterial purified protein derivative or schistosomal egg Ag-coated beads. CCR4 agonists were expressed during both responses, correlating with a shift of CCR4+CD4+ T cells from blood to lungs. CCL22 dominated in draining nodes during the Th1 response. Analysis of CD4+ effector T cells revealed CCR4 expression and CCR4-mediated chemotaxis by both IFN-γ and IL-4 producers. Studies of CCR4 knockout (CCR4−/−) mice showed partial impairment of the local type-2 cytokine response and surprisingly strong impairment of the Th1 response with abrogated IFN-γ production during secondary but not primary challenge. Adoptive transfer indicated CCR4−/−CD4+ Th1 cell function was defective but this could not be reconstituted with wild-type (CCR4+/+) CD4+ T cells indicating involvement of another CCR4+ population. Coculture of CCR4+/+CD4+ T cells and CCR4−/− dendritic cells revealed intact IL-2 but impaired IFN-γ production, pointing to a role for CCR4+ dendritic cells in effector cell expression. Therefore, CCR4 is not Th2-restricted and was required for sustenance and expression of the Th1 effector/memory response to mycobacterial Ags.
PMCID: PMC1618796  PMID: 16951380
22.  Expanded Numbers of Circulating Myeloid Dendritic Cells in Patent Human Filarial Infection Reflect Lower CCR1 Expression 
APC dysfunction has been postulated to mediate some of the parasite-specific T cell unresponsiveness seen in patent filarial infection. We have shown that live microfilariae of Brugia malayi induce caspase-dependent apoptosis in human monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DCs) in vitro. This study addresses whether apoptosis observed in vitro extends to patent filarial infections in humans and is reflected in the number of circulating myeloid DCs (mDCs; CD11c−CD123lo) in peripheral blood of infected microfilaremic individuals. Utilizing flow cytometry to identify DC subpopulations (mDCs and plasmacytoid DCs [pDCs]) based on expression of CD11c and CD123, we found a significant increase in numbers of circulating mDCs (CD11c+CD123lo) in filaria-infected individuals compared with uninfected controls from the same filaria-endemic region of Mali. Total numbers of pDCs, monocytes, and lymphocytes did not differ between the two groups. To investigate potential causes of differences in mDC numbers between the two groups, we assessed chemokine receptor expression on mDCs. Our data indicate that filaria-infected individuals had a lower percentage of circulating CCR1+ mDCs and a higher percentage of circulating CCR5+ mDCs and pDCs. Finally, live microfilariae of B. malayi were able to downregulate cell-surface expression of CCR1 on monocyte-derived DCs and diminish their calcium flux in response to stimulation by a CCR1 ligand. These findings suggest that microfilaria are capable of altering mDC migration through downregulation of expression of some chemokine receptors and their signaling functions. These observations have major implications for regulation of immune responses to these long-lived parasites.
PMCID: PMC3403815  PMID: 20956349
23.  CCR3 is essential for skin eosinophilia and airway hyperresponsiveness in a murine model of allergic skin inflammation 
The CC chemokine receptor 3 (CCR3) is expressed by eosinophils, mast cells, and Th2 cells. We used CCR3–/– mice to assess the role of CCR3 in a murine model of allergic skin inflammation induced by repeated epicutaneous sensitization with ovalbumin (OVA), and characterized by eosinophil skin infiltration, local expression of Th2 cytokines, and airway hyperresponsiveness (AHR) to inhaled antigen. Eosinophils and the eosinophil product major basic protein were absent from the skin of sham and OVA-sensitized CCR3–/– mice. Mast cell numbers and expression of IL-4 mRNA were normal in skin of CCR3–/– mice, suggesting that CCR3 is not important for infiltration of the skin by mast cells and Th2 cells. CCR3–/– mice produced normal levels of OVA-specific IgE, and their splenocytes secreted normal amounts of IL-4 and IL-5 following in vitro stimulation with OVA, indicating effective generation of systemic Th2 helper responses. Recruitment of eosinophils to lung parenchyma and bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid was severely impaired in CCR3–/– mice, which failed to develop AHR to methacholine following antigen inhalation. These results suggest that CCR3 plays an essential role in eosinophil recruitment to the skin and the lung and in the development of AHR.
PMCID: PMC150891  PMID: 11877470
24.  Neuronal eotaxin and the effects of ccr3 antagonist on airway hyperreactivity and M2 receptor dysfunction 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2005;116(1):228-236.
Eosinophils cluster around airway nerves in patients with fatal asthma and in antigen-challenged animals. Activated eosinophils release major basic protein, which blocks inhibitory M2 muscarinic receptors (M2Rs) on nerves, increasing acetylcholine release and potentiating vagally mediated bronchoconstriction. We tested whether GW701897B, an antagonist of CCR3 (the receptor for eotaxin as well as a group of eosinophil active chemokines), affected vagal reactivity and M2R function in ovalbumin-challenged guinea pigs. Sensitized animals were treated with the CCR3 antagonist before inhaling ovalbumin. Antigen-challenged animals were hyperresponsive to vagal stimulation, but those that received the CCR3 antagonist were not. M2R function was lost in antigen-challenged animals, but not in those that received the CCR3 antagonist. Although the CCR3 antagonist did not decrease the number of eosinophils in lung tissues as assessed histologically, CCR3 antagonist prevented antigen-induced clustering of eosinophils along the nerves. Immunostaining revealed eotaxin in airway nerves and in cultured airway parasympathetic neurons from both guinea pigs and humans. Both IL-4 and IL-13 increased expression of eotaxin in cultured airway parasympathetic neurons as well as in human neuroblastoma cells. Thus, signaling via CCR3 mediates eosinophil recruitment to airway nerves and may be a prerequisite to blockade of inhibitory M2Rs by eosinophil major basic protein.
PMCID: PMC1319219  PMID: 16374515
25.  Why CCR2 and CCR5 Blockade Failed and Why CCR1 Blockade Might Still Be Effective in the Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis 
PLoS ONE  2011;6(7):e21772.
The aim of this study was to provide more insight into the question as to why blockade of CCR1, CCR2, and CCR5 may have failed in clinical trials in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients, using an in vitro monocyte migration system model.
Methodology/Principal Findings
Monocytes from healthy donors (HD; n = 8) or from RA patients (for CCR2 and CCR5 antibody n = 8; for CCR1 blockade n = 13) were isolated from peripheral blood and pre-incubated with different concentrations of either anti-CCR1, anti-CCR2, or anti-CCR5 blocking antibodies (or medium or isotype controls). In addition, a small molecule CCR1 antagonist (BX471) was tested. Chemotaxis was induced by CCL2/MCP-1 (CCR2 ligand), CCL5/RANTES (CCR1 and CCR5 ligand), or by a mix of 5 RA synovial fluids (SFs), and cellular responses compared to chemotaxis in the presence of medium alone. Anti-CCR2 antibody treatment blocked CCL2/MCP-1-induced chemotaxis of both HD and RA monocytes compared to isotype control. Similarly, anti-CCR5 antibody treatment blocked CCL5/RANTES-induced chemotaxis of RA monocytes. While neither CCR2 nor CCR5 blocking antibodies were able to inhibit SF-induced monocyte chemotaxis, even when both receptors were blocked simultaneously, both anti-CCR1 antibodies and the CCR1 antagonist were able to inhibit SF-induced monocyte chemotaxis.
The RA synovial compartment contains several ligands for CCR1, CCR2, and CCR5 as well as other chemokines and receptors involved in monocyte recruitment to the site of inflammation. The results suggest that CCR2 and CCR5 are not critical for the migration of monocytes towards the synovial compartment in RA. In contrast, blockade of CCR1 may be effective. Conceivably, CCR1 blockade failed in clinical trials, not because CCR1 is not a good target, but because very high levels of receptor occupancy at all times may be needed to inhibit monocyte migration in vivo.
PMCID: PMC3128605  PMID: 21747955

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