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The chemokine receptor CCR7 and its ligands CCL19 and CCL21 guide the homing and positioning of dendritic and T cells in lymphoid organs, thereby contributing to several aspects of adaptive immunity and immune tolerance. In the present study, we investigated the role of CCR7 in the pathogenesis of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA). By using a novel anti-human CCR7 antibody and humanized CCR7 mice, we evaluated CCR7 as a target in this autoimmune model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). Ccr7-deficient mice were completely resistant to CIA and presented severely impaired antibody responses to collagen II (CII). Selective CCR7 expression on dendritic cells restored arthritis severity and anti-CII antibody titers. Prophylactic and therapeutic treatment of humanized CCR7 mice with anti-human CCR7 mAb 8H3-16A12 led to complete resistance to CIA and halted CIA progression, respectively. Our data demonstrate that CCR7 signaling is essential for the induction of CIA and identify CCR7 as a potential therapeutic target in RA.


Georgios L Moschovakis, Anja Bubke, Michaela Friedrichsen, Jasmin Ristenpart, Jaap Willem Back, Christine S Falk, Elisabeth Kremmer, Reinhold F├Ârster. The chemokine receptor CCR7 is a promising target for rheumatoid arthritis therapy. Cellular & molecular immunology. 2019 Oct;16(10):791-799

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PMID: 29973648

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