Increased CCR4 expression in cutaneous T cell lymphoma

J Invest Dermatol. 2002 Dec;119(6):1405-10. doi: 10.1046/j.1523-1747.2002.19610.x.


Chemokines are critical molecules in leukocyte trafficking, promoting site-specific migration to various tissues. The chemokine receptor CCR4 has recently been associated with skin-homing T cells. In view of the potential importance of CCR4 in skin homing of T cells, we investigated the expression pattern of CCR4 and its ligands TARC/CCL17 and MDC/CCL22 in the peripheral blood and skin of patients with cutaneous T cell lymphoma, a putative malignancy of the skin-homing T cells. In this study we analyzed the pattern of coexpression of the skin-homing molecules cutaneous lymphocyte antigen (CLA) and CCR4 in the blood and skin of patients with cutaneous T cell lymphoma. In the blood of cutaneous T cell lymphoma patients with peripheral blood involvement we found significantly increased percentages of T cells displaying the skin-homing phenotype (CLA+CCR4+) compared with healthy individuals. T cells expressing CLA and CCR4 were also found at high levels in cutaneous T cell lymphoma lesions along with abundant expression of the two CCR4 ligands TARC/CCL17 and MDC/CCL22. These data may explain, in part, why these T cells accumulate in the skin, a diagnostic feature of cutaneous T cell lymphomas.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Chemokine CCL17
  • Chemokine CCL22
  • Chemokines, CC / biosynthesis
  • Chemokines, CC / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / immunology*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / metabolism*
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / pathology
  • Receptors, CCR4
  • Receptors, Chemokine / biosynthesis
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism*
  • Skin / immunology
  • Skin / pathology
  • Skin Neoplasms / immunology*
  • Skin Neoplasms / metabolism*
  • Skin Neoplasms / pathology
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*


  • CCL17 protein, human
  • CCL22 protein, human
  • CCR4 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL17
  • Chemokine CCL22
  • Chemokines, CC
  • Receptors, CCR4
  • Receptors, Chemokine