Chemokine receptor expression in cutaneous T cell and NK/T-cell lymphomas: immunohistochemical staining and in vitro chemotactic assay

Am J Surg Pathol. 2006 Sep;30(9):1111-9. doi: 10.1097/01.pas.0000213267.92349.59.


Interactions between chemokines and chemokine receptors are involved in migration and invasion of lymphoma cells. We investigated expression profiles of CXCR3 and CCR4 by immunohistochemistry and flow cytometry, and their biologic behaviors by real-time horizontal chemotaxis assay in cutaneous T cell and NK/T-cell lymphomas (TCLs). Tumor cells in mycosis fungoides (MF) constantly expressed CXCR3 at the patch stage, and expressed CCR4 at the tumor stage and in the folliculotropic variant of MF. Neoplastic cells at the plaque stage expressed CXCR3 and/or CCR4. Sezary cells in the dermis and circulation were positive for CCR4. Epidermotropic atypical cells in pagetoid reticulosis expressed CXCR3. CD30 cells exclusively expressed CCR4 in anaplastic large-cell lymphoma, and CXCR3 and/or CCR4 in lymphomatoid papulosis. In CD8TCL and extranodal NK/TCL characterized by extensive epidermotropism, tumor cells were positive for CXCR3. These data demonstrated preferential expression of CXCR3 in epidermotropic tumor cells, and of CCR4 in dermis-based lymphomas. In chemotaxis assays, CCR4 tumor cells in MF and CXCR3 tumor cells in CD8TCL migrated to thymus and activation-regulated chemokine and inducible protein-10, respectively. Therefore, spatial and temporal interactions between chemokine receptors and their ligands seem to dictate recruitment and retention of lymphoma cells in the skin.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Chemotaxis / physiology
  • Female
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Killer Cells, Natural*
  • Lymphatic Diseases / metabolism
  • Lymphoma, Large B-Cell, Diffuse / chemistry
  • Lymphoma, T-Cell, Cutaneous / chemistry*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Mycosis Fungoides / chemistry
  • Receptors, CCR4
  • Receptors, CXCR3
  • Receptors, Chemokine / analysis*
  • Skin Neoplasms / chemistry*


  • CCR4 protein, human
  • CXCR3 protein, human
  • Receptors, CCR4
  • Receptors, CXCR3
  • Receptors, Chemokine