Hepatic endothelial CCL25 mediates the recruitment of CCR9+ gut-homing lymphocytes to the liver in primary sclerosing cholangitis

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Primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a chronic inflammatory liver disease characterized by progressive bile duct destruction, develops as an extra-intestinal complication of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (Chapman, R.W. 1991. Gut. 32:1433-1435). However, the liver and bowel inflammation are rarely concomitant, and PSC can develop in patients whose colons have been removed previously. We hypothesized that PSC is mediated by long-lived memory T cells originally activated in the gut, but able to mediate extra-intestinal inflammation in the absence of active IBD (Grant, A.J., P.F. Lalor, M. Salmi, S. Jalkanen, and D.H. Adams. 2002. Lancet. 359:150-157). In support of this, we show that liver-infiltrating lymphocytes in PSC include mucosal T cells recruited to the liver by aberrant expression of the gut-specific chemokine CCL25 that activates alpha4beta7 binding to mucosal addressin cell adhesion molecule 1 on the hepatic endothelium. This is the first demonstration in humans that T cells activated in the gut can be recruited to an extra-intestinal site of disease and provides a paradigm to explain the pathogenesis of extra-intestinal complications of IBD.


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1511-1517
Number of pages7
JournalThe Journal of Experimental Medicine
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 2004


  • inflammation, integrins, chemokines, hepatitis, colitis

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