MCP-1 and CCR2 in HIV infection: Regulation of agonist and receptor expression

Silvano Sozzani, Martino Introna, Sergio Bernasconi, Nadia Polentarutti, Paola Cinque, Guido Poli, Antonio Sica, Alberto Mantovani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Monocyte chemotactic protein-1 (MCP-1) interacts with the chemokine receptor CCR2. Two CCR2 cDNAs have been described. Sequence analysis as well as Northern blotting and RNase protection with different probes revealed that the CCR2 gene is expressed in activated natural killer (NK) cells and mononuclear phagocytes as a predominant long transcript (3.4 kb) consisting of CCR2B followed by a novel sequence (X), corresponding to an intron in the genome, and by a CCR2A specific portion. The predominant long transcript is polyadenylated and present in the cytoplasm. We found that bacterial products and cytokines affect CCR2 expression. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) augmented CCR2 mRNA in monocytes and NK cells. The augmented migratory capacity of IL-2- activated versus resting NK cells was associated with increased CCR2 transcript levels. Lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and other microbial agents caused a rapid and drastic reduction of CCR2 mRNA levels. The rate of nuclear transcription of CCR2 was not affected by LPS, whereas the mRNA half life was reduced. These results suggest that regulation of receptor expression, in addition to agonist production, is probably a crucial point in the regulation of the chemokine system. Down-regulation of chemokine receptor expression may play a role in the modulation of HIV infection in macrophages by LPS. Levels of MCP-1 were markedly elevated in the cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) but not in blood of HIV-infected patients with cytomegalovirus (CMV) encephalitis. The CSF levels of MCP-1 in CMV encephalitis were markedly higher than those found in the CSF of HIV-infected patients with or without unrelated neurological diseases. IL-8, the prototype of C-X-C chemokines and RANTES and macrophage inflammatory protein-1α (C-C chemokines) were not substantially increased in the liquor of CMV encephalitis patients. High levels of MCP-1 may underlie monocyte recruitment and tissue damage in CMV encephalitis and may represent a rapid and useful tool in the diagnostic armamentarium for neurological disorders associated with HIV.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)30-33
Number of pages4
JournalJournal of Leukocyte Biology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jul 1997


  • Chemokine receptors
  • Cytomegalovirus encephalitis
  • Natural killer cells

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Cell Biology


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