Dendritic cells initiate immune responses by ferrying antigen from the tissues to the lymphoid organs for presentation to lymphocytes. Little is known about the molecular mechanisms underlying this migratory behavior. We have identified a chemokine receptor which appears to be selectively expressed in human dendritic cells derived from CD34+ cord blood precursors, but not in dendritic cells derived from peripheral blood monocytes. When stably expressed as a recombinant protein in a variety of host cell backgrounds, the receptor shows a strong interaction with only one chemokine among 25 tested: the recently reported CC chemokine macrophage inflammatory protein 3α. Thus, we have designated this receptor as the CC chemokine receptor 6. The cloning and characterization of a dendritic cell CC chemokine receptor suggests a role for chemokines in the control of the migration of dendritic cells and the regulation of dendritic cell function in immunity and infection.

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