CRTH2 is the most reliable marker for the detection of circulating human type 2 Th and type 2 T cytotoxic cells in health and disease

Eur J Immunol. 2000 Oct;30(10):2972-9. doi: 10.1002/1521-4141(200010)30:10<2972::AID-IMMU2972>3.0.CO;2-#.


Cells expressing the chemoattractant receptor-homologous molecule expressed on Th2 cells (CRTH2) and the chemokine C receptor (CCR)4 were consistently detected in the circulation of healthy subjects, whereas numbers of cells expressing CCR3 were much lower. While all CCR4+ cells were T cells, a small proportion of CRTH2+, and about a half of the few CCR3+ cells were basophils. Only CRTH2+ T cells contained Th2 or Tc2 cells, but neither Th0 or Tc0, nor Th1 or Tc1 cells, although not all of them produced Th2-type cytokines. By contrast, CCR4+ T cells contained both Th2 or Tc2 and Th0 or Tc0 cells and even Th1 or Tc1 cells, whereas the few CCR3+ T cells were not clearly classifiable for their cytokine profile. CRTH2+ T lymphocytes were virtually devoid of chemokine CX receptor (CXCR)3+ and CCR5+ cells, but enriched in CCR3+ and CCR4+ cells. By contrast, CCR3+ or CCR4+ T cells did not show a similar clear-cut dichotomy in the expression of CCR5/CXCR3 or CCR3/ CCR4. Subjects with atopic dermatitis or HIV infection with low levels of circulating CD4+ T cells revealed a significant increase of CRTH2+ cells within both the CD4+ and the CD8+ T cell subset. These data support the concept that at present CRTH2 is the more reliable marker for detection of both human Th2 and Tc2 cells in health and disease.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Validation Study

MeSH terms

  • Antiretroviral Therapy, Highly Active
  • Biomarkers
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / blood
  • Dermatitis, Atopic / immunology*
  • HIV Infections / blood
  • HIV Infections / drug therapy
  • HIV Infections / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunomagnetic Separation
  • Lymphokines / blood
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Receptors, CCR4
  • Receptors, Chemokine / blood
  • Receptors, Immunologic / blood*
  • Receptors, Prostaglandin*
  • Reference Values
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / chemistry*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / chemistry*
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic / classification
  • Th2 Cells / chemistry*


  • Biomarkers
  • CCR3 protein, human
  • CCR4 protein, human
  • Lymphokines
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Receptors, CCR4
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Receptors, Immunologic
  • Receptors, Prostaglandin
  • prostaglandin D2 receptor