Chemokines and their receptors direct migration and infiltration of immune cells. CCR1 and CCR2 maintain sequence similarity and respond to a number of the same chemokines secreted in lymphoid organs. Expression of CD38 on leukemic cells has been associated with poor clinical outcomes in patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) and is considered as the negative predictor of progression. In our study of newly diagnosed CLL patients, which included 39 CD38-positive and 22 CD38-negative patients, CCR1 and/or CCR2 were always detected, using flow cytometry, on the peripheral blood (PB) CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes in patients with >30% of the CD38+ CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes (n = 16). Spearman’s rank correlation analysis determined correlations between the frequency of the CCR1- and CCR2-expressing PB CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes and the frequency of the CD38-positive CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes (rs = 0.50 and rs = 0.38, respectively). No significant correlations were observed between ZAP70 mRNA expression levels in PB mononuclear cells and the frequency of the circulating CCR1+ or CCR2+ CD19+CD5+ lymphocytes. Further association studies are needed to verify prognostic relevance of the CCR1/CCR2 expression on leukemic cells in CLL patients at diagnosis. We suggest that CCR1/CCR2 signaling pathways could represent attractive targets for development of CLL anti-progression therapeutics.
- 1.1. Scientific article indexed in Web of Science and/or Scopus database