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Keywords:

  • B cells;
  • Chemokines;
  • IL-4;
  • TH2;
  • CCR7;
  • T helper cells

Abstract

The chemokine receptor CCR7 has a central role in regulating homing and positioning of T cells and DCs to lymph nodes (LNs) and participates in T-cell development and activation. In this study, we addressed the role of CCR7 signaling in TH2 polarization and B-cell activation. We provide evidence that the lack of CCR7 drives the capacity of naïve CD4+ T cells to polarize toward TH2 cells. This propensity contributes to a lymph node environment in CCR7-deficent mice characterized by increased expression of IL-4 and increased frequency of TH2 cells. We show that elevated IL-4 levels lead to B-cell activation characterized by up-regulated expression of MHC class II, CD23 and CD86. Activated B cells are in turn highly efficient in presenting antigen to CD4+ T cells and thus potentially contribute to the TH2 microenvironment. Taken together, our results support the idea of a CCR7-dependent patterning of TH2 responses, with absent CCR7 signaling favoring TH2 polarization, dislocation of T helper cells into the B-cell follicles and, as a consequence, B-cell activation.