Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950)

CCR7 is mainly expressed in teleost gills, where it defines an IgD+IgM- B lymphocyte subset.

PMID 24353268


Chemokine receptor CCR7, the receptor for both CCL19 and CCL21 chemokines, regulates the recruitment and clustering of circulating leukocytes to secondary lymphoid tissues, such as lymph nodes and Peyer's patches. Even though teleost fish do not have either of these secondary lymphoid structures, we have recently reported a homolog to CCR7 in rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). In the present work, we have studied the distribution of leukocytes bearing extracellular CCR7 in naive adult tissues by flow cytometry, observing that among the different leukocyte populations, the highest numbers of cells with membrane (mem)CCR7 were recorded in the gill (7.5 ± 2% CCR7(+) cells). In comparison, head kidney, spleen, thymus, intestine, and peripheral blood possessed <5% CCR7(+) cells. When CCR7 was studied at early developmental stages, we detected a progressive increase in gene expression and protein CCR7 levels in the gills throughout development. Surprisingly, the majority of the CCR7(+) cells in the gills were not myeloid cells and did not express membrane CD8, IgM, nor IgT, but expressed IgD on the cell surface. In fact, most IgD(+) cells in the gills expressed CCR7. Intriguingly, the IgD(+)CCR7(+) population did not coexpress memIgM. Finally, when trout were bath challenged with viral hemorrhagic septicemia virus, the number of CCR7(+) cells significantly decreased in the gills while significantly increased in head kidney. These results provide evidence of the presence of a novel memIgD(+)memIgM(-) B lymphocyte subset in trout that expresses memCCR7 and responds to viral infections. Similarities with IgD(+)IgM(-) subsets in mammals are discussed.