GPR15 expressed in T lymphocytes from RA patients is involved in leukocyte chemotaxis to the synovium

J Leukoc Biol. 2022 Nov;112(5):1209-1221. doi: 10.1002/JLB.3MA0822-263RR. Epub 2022 Sep 27.


The rheumatoid arthritis (RA) inflammatory process occurs in the joints where immune cells are attracted into the synovium to promote remodeling and tissue damage. GPR15 is a G protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) located on chromosome 3 and has similarity in its sequence with chemokine receptors. Recent evidence indicates that GPR15 may be associated with modulation of the chronic inflammatory response. We evaluated the expression of GPR15 and GPR15L in blood and synovial tissue samples from RA patients, as well as to perform a functional migration assay in response to GPR15L. The expression of GPR15 and c10orf99/gpr15l mRNA was analyzed by RT-qPCR. Samples of synovial fluid and peripheral blood were analyzed for CD45+CD3+CD4+GPR15+ and CD45+CD3+CD8+GPR15+ T cell frequency comparing RA patients versus control subjects by flow cytometry. Migration assays were performed using PBMCs isolated from these individuals in response to the synthetic GPR15 ligand. Statistical analysis included Kruskal-Wallis test, T-test, or Mann-Whitney U test, according to data distribution. A higher expression in the mRNA for GPR15 was identified in early RA subjects. The frequencies of CD4+/CD8+ GPR15+ T lymphocytes are higher in RA patients comparing with healthy subjects. Also, the frequency CD4+/CD8+ GPR15+ T lymphocytes are higher in synovial fluid of established RA patients comparing with OA patients. GPR15 and GPR15L are present in the synovial tissue of RA patients and GPR15L promotes migration of PBMCs from RA patients and healthy subjects. Our results suggest that GPR15/GPR15L have a pathogenic role in RA and their antagonizing could be a therapeutic approach in RA.

Keywords: C10ORF99; GPR15; GPR15L; T lymphocytes; chemotaxis; rheumatoid arthritis; synovium.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid* / pathology
  • Chemotaxis, Leukocyte
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • RNA, Messenger / genetics
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / genetics
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled / metabolism
  • Receptors, Peptide
  • Synovial Fluid / metabolism
  • Synovial Membrane* / pathology


  • Ligands
  • Receptors, G-Protein-Coupled
  • Receptors, Chemokine
  • RNA, Messenger
  • GPR15 protein, human
  • Receptors, Peptide