Functional expression of chemokine receptor CCR6 on human effector memory CD8+ T cells

Eur J Immunol. 2007 Jan;37(1):54-65. doi: 10.1002/eji.200636251.


Since CCR6 is a receptor for the chemokine CCL20, which is produced in tissues such as intestine and colon, it is thought that T cells expressing CCR6 are involved in mucosal immunity. The expression and function of CCR6 on human CD8+ T cells have not well been analyzed, although it is known that this receptor is expressed on a subset of human CD8+ T cells. We here characterize human CCR6+ CD8+ T cells. Multi-color flow cytometric analysis demonstrated that CCR6+ cells are predominantly found among CD8+ T cells having the memory phenotype. The expression of CCR6 is positively and negatively correlated with that of CCR5 and CCR7, respectively. CCR6+ CD8+ T cells express granzyme A and a low level of perforin but not granzyme B. In addition, a major population among these cells has the ability to produce IFN-gamma and TNF-alpha but not IL-2. These results indicate that CCR6+ CD8+ T cells have characteristics of early effector memory cells rather than effector or central memory cells. A chemotaxis assay revealed that CCR6+ CD8+ T cells have the ability to migrate in response to CCL20, suggesting that these T cells migrate to tissues such as colon and are involved in mucosal immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / cytology
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / metabolism*
  • Cell Membrane / immunology
  • Cell Membrane / metabolism
  • Chemokine CCL20
  • Chemokines, CC / physiology
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte / immunology
  • Colon / cytology
  • Colon / immunology
  • Colon / metabolism
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Humans
  • Immunity, Mucosal
  • Immunologic Memory*
  • Immunophenotyping
  • Intestinal Mucosa / cytology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / metabolism
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins / physiology
  • Receptors, CCR6
  • Receptors, Chemokine / biosynthesis*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / physiology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / cytology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / immunology
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism


  • CCL20 protein, human
  • CCR6 protein, human
  • Chemokine CCL20
  • Chemokines, CC
  • Macrophage Inflammatory Proteins
  • Receptors, CCR6
  • Receptors, Chemokine