Plasmacytoid dendritic cell recruitment by immobilized CXCR3 ligands

N Kohrgruber, M Groger, P Meraner, E Kriehuber, P Petzelbauer, S Brandt, G Stingl, Antal Rot, D Maurer

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91 Citations (Scopus)


Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) recognize microbes, viruses in particular, and provide unique means of innate defense against them. The mechanism of pDC tissue recruitment remained enigmatic because the ligands of CXCR3, the cardinal chemokine receptor on pDCs, have failed to induce in vitro chemotaxis of pDCs in the absence of additional chemokines. In this study, we demonstrate that CXCR3 is sufficient to induce pDC migration, however, by a migratory mechanism that amalgamates the features of haptotaxis and chemorepulsion. To mediate "haptorepulsion" of pDCs, CXCR3 requires the encounter of its cognate ligands immobilized, optimally by heparan sulfate, in a form of a negative gradient. This is the first report of the absolute requirement of chemokine immobilization and presentation for its in vitro promigratory activity. The paradigmatic example of pDC haptorepulsion described here may represent a new pathophysiologically relevant migratory mechanism potentially used by other cells in response to other chemokines.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6592-6602
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Immunology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2004


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