Apoptosis in human germinal centre B cells by means of CC chemokine receptor 3 expression induced by interleukin-2 and interleukin-4

Chin Med J (Engl). 2005 Apr 20;118(8):665-70.


Background: CC chemokine receptor 3 (CCR3), expressed on some inflammatory cells, is a member of the chemokine receptor family. Its ligand is eotaxin/CCL11. In this research, we studied the expression and function of CCR3 induced by interleukin-2 (IL-2) and interleukin-4 (IL-4) on human germinal centre (GC) B cells.

Methods: Cells isolated from human tonsils were stimulated with IL-2 or/and IL-4 followed by bonding with eotaxin/CCL11. Flow cytometry was used to detect expression of CCR3 on GC B cells and apoptosis of GC B cells. Real time quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction and Northern blot assays were used to analyse the CCR3 mRNA expressed in the GC B cells. Chemotaxis and adhesion assays were used to determine the effect of eotaxin/CCL11 ligand bonded to CCR3 on GC B cells.

Results: There was no CCR3 expression on human freshly isolated GC B cells. The combination IL-2 and IL-4 could upregulate CCR3 mRNA and protein expression on GC B cells. Eotaxin could not induce GC B cell chemotaxis and adhesion but triggered apoptosis of GC B cells.

Conclusion: IL-2 and IL-4 together induced expression of CCR3 on GC B cells, and the receptor acted as a death receptor.

MeSH terms

  • Apoptosis*
  • B-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • B-Lymphocytes / pathology
  • Cell Adhesion
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte
  • Germinal Center / metabolism*
  • Germinal Center / pathology
  • Humans
  • Interleukin-2 / pharmacology*
  • Interleukin-4 / pharmacology*
  • RNA, Messenger / analysis
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Receptors, Chemokine / genetics*


  • CCR3 protein, human
  • Interleukin-2
  • RNA, Messenger
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Interleukin-4