Chemokine receptor CCR7 guides T cell exit from peripheral tissues and entry into afferent lymphatics

Nat Immunol. 2005 Sep;6(9):895-901. doi: 10.1038/ni1240. Epub 2005 Aug 14.


T cell circulation between peripheral tissues and the lymphoid compartment is critical for immunosurveillance and host defense. However, the factors that determine whether T cells remain in peripheral tissue or return to the circulation are undefined. Here we demonstrate that the chemokine receptor CCR7 is a critical signal that determines T cell exit from peripheral tissue. Both CCR7(-) and CCR7(+) effector T cells entered mouse asthmatic lung and while CCR7(-) T cells accumulated, CCR7(+) T cells continued to migrate into afferent lymph. Delivery of both CCR7(+) and CCR7(-) T cells directly into the airways showed that only CCR7(+) T cells exited the lung and entered draining lymph nodes. Our study establishes a molecular basis for T cell exit from peripheral tissues.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Asthma / chemically induced
  • Asthma / immunology
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / immunology*
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Lung / pathology
  • Lymph / immunology
  • Lymph / metabolism
  • Lymph Nodes / immunology
  • Lymph Nodes / metabolism
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred C57BL
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine / deficiency
  • Receptors, Chemokine / immunology*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism
  • T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • T-Lymphocytes / metabolism


  • Ccr7 protein, mouse
  • Receptors, CCR7
  • Receptors, Chemokine