Functional re-expression of CCR7 on CMV-specific CD8+ T cells upon antigenic stimulation

Int Immunol. 2005 Jun;17(6):713-9. doi: 10.1093/intimm/dxh251. Epub 2005 Apr 18.


During latency circulating human cytomegalovirus (CMV)-specific CD8(+) T cells do not express the chemokine receptor CCR7. We here show that antigen-specific stimulation in vitro with the specific CMV-peptide in combination with CMV-antigen, IL-2 or IL-21 induced re-expression of CCR7 on CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells. Although IL-15 induced strong proliferation of peptide-pulsed CMV-specific CD8(+) T cells, these cells did not re-express CCR7. CMV-specific cells that re-expressed CCR7 also expressed CD62L and were able to react to specific chemokine stimulation with changes in the cytoskeleton. In addition, activated CMV-specific cells specifically migrated towards a chemokine gradient in a transwell assay, with and without an endothelial cell monolayer. We conclude that antigenic stimulation induced functional re-expression of CCR7 which suggests that the migratory properties of virus-primed T cells are flexible and depend on the presence or absence of antigen and cytokines.

MeSH terms

  • Antigens, Viral / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / virology
  • Cell Movement / drug effects
  • Cells, Cultured
  • Chemokine CCL19
  • Chemokine CCL21
  • Chemokines, CC / pharmacology
  • Cytomegalovirus / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Interleukins / pharmacology
  • L-Selectin / metabolism
  • Peptide Fragments / immunology
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine / immunology
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism*
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / virology


  • Antigens, Viral
  • CCL19 protein, human
  • CCL21 protein, human
  • CCR7 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL19
  • Chemokine CCL21
  • Chemokines, CC
  • Interleukins
  • Peptide Fragments
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • L-Selectin