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Distinct chemokine receptor axes regulate Th9 cell trafficking to allergic and autoimmune inflammatory sites

Kara, EE;Comerford, I;Bastow, CR;Fenix, KA;Litchfield, W;Handel, TM;McColl, SR;

Migration of Th cells to peripheral sites of inflammation is essential for execution of their effector function. The recently described Th9 subset characteristically produces IL-9 and has been implicated in both allergy and autoimmunity. Despite this, the migratory properties of Th9 cells remain enigmatic. In this study, we examined chemokine receptor usage by Th9 cells and demonstrate, in models of allergy and autoimmunity, that these cells express functional CCR3, CCR6, and CXCR3, chemokine receptors commonly associated with other, functionally opposed effector Th subsets. Most Th9 cells that express CCR3 also express CXCR3 and CCR6, and expression of these receptors appears to account for the recruitment of Th9 cells to disparate inflammatory sites. During allergic inflammation, Th9 cells use CCR3 and CCR6, but not CXCR3, to home to the peritoneal cavity, whereas Th9 homing to the CNS during experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis involves CXCR3 and CCR6 but not CCR3. To our knowledge, these data provide the first insights into regulation of Th9 cell trafficking in allergy and autoimmunity.