Medical Research Council - London Institute of Medical Sciences

Now in our 12th year of bringing you beautiful imagery from biomedical science every day

Directing Traffic

Mapping locations of receptors of chemokines – molecules that guide cell traffic – in organ microenvironments

21 May 2023

Directing Traffic

Chemical messengers called chemokines are the traffic police of your body, telling cells on the move where to go via a chemokine concentration gradient. Atypical chemokine receptors (ACKRs) on certain cells help create these gradients by binding and engulfing specific chemokines. Three called GPR182, ACKR3 and ACKR4 are located in lymph and blood vessels, and research suggests may be found together in certain microenvironments within organs. However, there’s no comprehensive map of where they are. Researchers now genetically engineer mice with fluorescently-tagged GPR182, ACKR3, ACKR4 and ACKR-specific chemokines to locate them. Fluorescence microscopy revealed unique and shared distribution patterns of these ACKRs in a variety of organs, including the spleen (pictured, ACKR4 in green, GPR182 in red). Meanwhile, fluorescently-tagged chemokines revealed distinct activity zones for ACKR4 and GPR182 in the liver. These mouse models, therefore, provide a useful tool to probe ACKRs in different organs and microenvironments.

Written by Lux Fatimathas

Search The Archive

Submit An Image

What is BPoD?

BPoD stands for Biomedical Picture of the Day. Managed by the MRC London Institute of Medical Sciences the website aims to engage everyone, young and old, in the wonders of biomedicine. Images are kindly provided for inclusion on this website through the generosity of scientists across the globe.

Read More

BPoD is also available in Catalan at with translations by the University of Valencia.