Chemokines are key molecules in directing leukocyte migration toward sites of inflammation. We have previously cloned a putative CC chemokine receptor gene, TER1, whose expression is restricted to lymphoid tissues and cell lines. Recently, this receptor has been shown to signal in response to the human CC chemokine I-309 and thus it has been renamed CCR8 according to the current nomenclature. In the present study, we report the identification of the CC chemokines thymus and activation-regulated cytokine (TARC) and macrophage inflammatory protein-1 beta (MIP-1 beta) as CCR8 ligands, as they induce chemotaxis in CCR8 Jurkat stable transfectants. Furthermore, we have generated a polyclonal antiserum that is able to recognize the CCR8 molecule in transfectant lysates. The pattern of CCR8 mRNA expression and the functional effects exerted by its ligand suggest that the triggering of this receptor may regulate multiple functions including activation, migration and proliferation of lymphoid cells.