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Hoffmann, R. A wiki for the life sciences where authorship matters. Nature Genetics (2008)

CXC chemokine ligand 16 promotes integrin-mediated adhesion of liver-infiltrating lymphocytes to cholangiocytes and hepatocytes within the inflamed human liver.

Lymphocyte recruitment to the liver is critical for viral clearance in acute hepatitis and in the pathogenesis of chronic inflammatory liver disease when persistent chronic inflammation leads to fibrosis and cirrhosis. Chemokines regulate leukocyte recruitment and positioning in tissues and are thus critical regulators of chronic inflammation. The chemokine CXCL16, which is found in liver tissue, exists in a transmembrane as well as soluble form, providing a potential mechanism for localization to particular structures. We studied the role of CXCL16 and its receptor CXCR6 in lymphocyte recruitment and retention in the liver. A higher proportion of CXCR6(+) T cells was detected in blood of hepatitis C virus patients compared with healthy subjects, and in chronic inflammatory liver disease >60% of intrahepatic T cells expressed CXCR6, including CD4, CD8, and CD56(+) T cells compared with <30% in matched blood samples. CXCR6(+) lymphocytes were found in association with CXCL16(+) bile ducts in portal tracts and with hepatocytes at sites of interface hepatitis. Analysis of CXCL16 expression and subcellular distribution in cultured human cholangiocytes, sinusoidal endothelial cells, and hepatocytes revealed that all three cell types expressed CXCL16, with the strongest staining seen on cholangiocytes. CXCL16 on the cholangiocyte membrane was able to support lymphocyte adhesion by triggering conformational activation of beta(1) integrins and binding to VCAM-1. Thus, CXCL16 can promote lymphocyte adhesion to epithelial cells and may function to attract and retain effector cells that promote biliary and hepatocyte destruction in inflammatory liver disease.[1]


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