IL-4-expressing bronchoalveolar T cells from asthmatic and healthy subjects preferentially express CCR 3 and CCR 4

J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2005 Sep;116(3):594-600. doi: 10.1016/j.jaci.2005.03.052.


Background: The concept of the polarization of chemokine receptor expression by T(H)1 and T(H)2 cells provides an attractive mechanism for their differential recruitment to tissue, which could be subject to disease-specific therapeutic intervention. The paradigm that T(H)1 cells preferentially express CXCR 3 and CCR 5 and T(H)2 cells preferentially express CCR 3, CCR 4, and CCR 8 has been well established in the setting of in vitro polarized cell lines; however, the situation in vivo appears less clear-cut.

Objective: We sought to investigate whether this pattern of polarization can be demonstrated in human lung tissue.

Methods: We used single-cell analysis to investigate the relationship between chemokine receptor expression and cytokine production on peripheral blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid T cells in patients with asthma, a putative T(H)2 disease, as well as in healthy control subjects.

Results: We have found in both asthmatic and control subjects that IL-4-expressing blood and bronchoalveolar lavage fluid T cells are significantly more likely to express the T(H)2 type 2 chemokine receptors CCR 3 and CCR 4, with 10-fold and 2-fold differences in expression, respectively, compared with IFN-gamma-expressing cells.

Conclusion: We have provided evidence that polarization of T(H)2-type chemokine receptors on IL-4-expressing cells can be demonstrated in an in vivo setting and therefore that these cells might indeed be susceptible to differential patterns of recruitment as a result of expression of the relevant chemokines at inflammatory sites.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Asthma / immunology*
  • Asthma / metabolism
  • Bronchoalveolar Lavage Fluid / cytology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Interferon-gamma / biosynthesis
  • Interferon-gamma / immunology
  • Interleukin-4 / biosynthesis*
  • Interleukin-4 / immunology
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Receptors, CCR4
  • Receptors, Chemokine / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / immunology
  • Th2 Cells / immunology*
  • Th2 Cells / metabolism


  • CCR3 protein, human
  • CCR4 protein, human
  • Receptors, CCR3
  • Receptors, CCR4
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Interleukin-4
  • Interferon-gamma