Fractalkine, a CX3C Chemokine, Is Expressed by Dendritic Cells and Is Up-Regulated Upon Dendritic Cell Maturation

Eur J Immunol. 1999 Aug;29(8):2551-9. doi: 10.1002/(SICI)1521-4141(199908)29:08<2551::AID-IMMU2551>3.0.CO;2-T.


The lone CX3C chemokine, fractalkine (FK), is expressed in a membrane-bound form on activated endothelial cells and mediates attachment and firm adhesion of T cells, monocytes and NK cells. We now show that FK is associated with dendritic cells (DC) in epidermis and lymphoid organs. In normal human skin, dual-color fluorescence microscopy co-localized FK expression with Langerhans cells expressing CD1a. In tonsil, FK-positive DC expressed CD83, a marker for mature DC. Human and murine cultured DC up-regulated FK mRNA expression with maturation. Furthermore, CD40 ligation, but not TNF-alpha or lipopolysaccharide treatment, of activated, migratory DC that had migrated from skin explants resulted in a 2.5-fold increase of surface expression of FK without significant alterations of expression of CD80, CD86, CD54 or MHC class II. Since FK mediates adhesion of T cells to activated endothelial cells, the increased expression of FK during DC maturation (and particularly by CD40 ligation) may play a role in the ability of T cells and mature DC to form conjugates and engage in cell-cell communication.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Base Sequence
  • CD40 Ligand
  • Cell Adhesion / immunology
  • Cell Communication / immunology
  • Cell Differentiation / immunology
  • Cell Line
  • Chemokine CX3CL1
  • Chemokines, CX3C*
  • Chemokines, CXC / genetics*
  • Chemokines, CXC / metabolism*
  • DNA Primers / genetics
  • Dendritic Cells / cytology
  • Dendritic Cells / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Langerhans Cells / immunology
  • Melanocytes / immunology
  • Membrane Glycoproteins / pharmacology
  • Membrane Proteins / genetics*
  • Membrane Proteins / metabolism*
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Palatine Tonsil / cytology
  • Palatine Tonsil / immunology
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • RNA, Messenger / metabolism
  • Skin / cytology
  • Skin / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha / pharmacology
  • Up-Regulation


  • CX3CL1 protein, human
  • Chemokine CX3CL1
  • Chemokines, CX3C
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Cx3cl1 protein, mouse
  • DNA Primers
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Membrane Proteins
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
  • CD40 Ligand