CC chemokine receptor 4 (CCR4) is a G protein-coupled seven transmembrane receptor that is selectively expressed on Th2 cells and plays an important role in the trafficking of Th2 cells into inflammatory sites. In this study, a full-length canine CCR4 cDNA was cloned and characterized in order to examine the potential role of CCR4 in allergic responses that produce skin lesions in canine atopic dermatitis (AD). The canine CCR4 cDNA reported in this study contained an open reading frame of 1083 nucleotides encoding 360 amino acids. The predicted amino acid sequence of canine CCR4 showed 91.9, 85.3 and 84.5% similarity with those of the human, mouse and guinea pig counterparts, respectively. Expression of CCR4 mRNA was detected in various tissues including thymus, spleen, heart, small intestine and lymph node. Furthermore, it was found that CCR4 mRNA was preferentially expressed in lesional skin of dogs with AD, together with the mRNA of thymus and activation-regulated chemokine (TARC), which is a ligand for CCR4. The present study demonstrates that CCR4 contributes strongly to the immunopathogenesis of canine AD.
Copyright 2002 Elsevier Science B.V.