Expression and functional analysis of chemokine receptors in human peripheral blood leukocyte populations

Cytokine. 2001 Apr 7;14(1):27-36. doi: 10.1006/cyto.2000.0851.


Emerging evidence indicates that chemokine receptor expression patterns are critical in determining the spectrum of action of the chemokines. We have analysed the expression patterns of 17 chemokine receptors and two orphan chemokine receptor-like genes in various freshly prepared human peripheral blood leucocyte populations, including neutrophils, lymphocytes, and naïve and differentiated monocytes using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction (TaqMan). This is the first comprehensive study of chemokine receptor expression in such a wide variety of cell types. Human peripheral blood leukocyte populations were found to express a wide range of chemokine receptors that varies depending on cell type and differentiation state. Novel expression patterns of certain chemokine receptors were seen during our analysis. For example, the orphan chemokine receptor HCR was expressed at very high levels by both primary neutrophils and primary monocytes, and was further upregulated on neutrophil activation and during monocyte to macrophage differentiation. When neutrophil calcium transients were measured in response to a panel of 30 different chemokines the results clearly correlated with the chemokine receptor expression profile. For example strong calcium responses were seen in neutrophils following stimulation with the CXCR1 and CXCR2 ligands, interleukin (IL-)8, GCP-2 and Gro-beta. These data have implications for the study of the functional responses of leukocytes to external stimuli and will aid in our understanding of general leukocyte biology.

MeSH terms

  • Calcium Signaling
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Humans
  • Leukocytes / metabolism*
  • Ligands
  • Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Macrophages / metabolism
  • Monocytes / metabolism
  • Neutrophils / metabolism
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Receptors, Chemokine / blood*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / genetics
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism*
  • Reverse Transcriptase Polymerase Chain Reaction


  • Ligands
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, Chemokine