Lockdown publications!

July 20, 2020

Hey everyone,


The CRG blog is back up and running! We hope everyone has stayed safe during lockdown and is taking care as things return to some degree of "normality". While lockdown might not have been super productive for everyone, Gill sure put in the work to get her paper published in Development! Gill is part of the MRC subgroup at the CRG and has provided a summary of her paper and you should all go and check out the publication at the link below!


"In our latest paper, published this month in Development, we show that chemokine receptors coordinate macrophage movement to control the development of the mammary gland during puberty. https://dev.biologists.org/content/147/12/dev187815.


Back in 2017 we found that mice without the atypical chemokine receptor ACKR2, which scavenges inflammatory chemokines, underwent early mammary gland development (Wilson et al, 2017). This was the first time a chemokine receptor was shown to control postnatal development. We showed that ACKR2 was expressed by fibroblasts and controlled macrophages and branching in the mammary gland. However, we still had a number of questions…


ACKR2 itself is non signalling but shares chemokine ligands with inflammatory receptors. In the current study we used individual and compound receptor deficient mice developed by the CRG previously (Dyer et al, 2019) to find out which receptor works with ACKR2. The reciprocal receptor was identified as CCR1, as deficient mice had delayed mammary gland development.


We also show that the macrophage which is regulated by ACKR2 and CCR1 in the mammary gland is a small but important population which expresses CD206 (Mannose receptor). We found the key chemokine responsible for recruiting these macrophages and driving branching was CCL7.


We also show that CCR1 expression on macrophages can be increased by exposure to estrogen and endocrine disrupters such as BPA. Throughout the world the age at which puberty begins continues to fall. Here we provide an immunological mechanism that may help us understand this.

All that is left is to give Gill a huge congratulations for her latest publication and we cant wait to see where her research goes next!


Until the next time 


p.s. stay safe and don't forget your face coverings!


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