The G-protein-coupled receptor BLR1 related to receptors for chemokines and neuropeptides has been identified as the first lymphocyte-specific member of the gene family characterized by seven transmembrane-spanning regions. Using a high-affinity anti-BLR1 monoclonal antibody (MoAb) and three-color flow cytometry it is shown that BLR1 expression on peripheral blood cells is limited to B cells and to a subset of CD4+ (14%) and CD8+ (2%) lymphocytes. T cells expressing BLR1 were positive for CD45R0, were negative for interleukin-2 receptors, show high levels of CD44, and show low levels of L-selectin. The majority of CD4+ cells originating from secondary lymphatic tissue, but none of cord blood- derived T cells, express BLR1. These observations suggest that BLR1 is a marker for memory T cells. Furthermore, BLR1 expression was detected on all CD19+ peripheral or tonsillar B lymphocytes, but only on a fraction of cord blood cells and bone marrow cells expressing CD19, sIgM, or sIgD. Interestingly, activation of both mature B and T cells by CD40 MoAb and CD3 MoAb, respectively, led to complete downregulation of BLR1. These data suggest that the G-protein-coupled receptor BLR1 is involved in functional control of mature recirculating B cells and T- helper memory cells participating in cell migration and cell activation.

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