In mammals, the CC chemokine receptors 6 and 7 (CCR6 and CCR7) play important roles in controlling the trafficking of dendritic cells (DC). CCR6 is expressed primarily on immature DC in the periphery and plays a role in the recruitment of immature DC to sites of potential antigen entry. On encountering pathogens. DC mature and migrate to secondary lymphoid organs where they present pathogen antigen to T cells to initiate specific adaptive immune responses. Maturation involves down-regulation of CCR6 but up-regulation of CCR7. To investigate the role of these two chemokine receptors in the function of DC in the chicken, a full-length chicken CCR7 (chCCR7) cDNA was cloned. Chicken CCR6 (chCCR6) was already available (Munoz et al., 2009). ChCCR7 shows the typical secondary structure of a seven-transmembrane G protein-coupled receptor and has 66% and 64% amino acid identity with human and mouse CCR7, respectively. Like its mammalian orthologues, chCCR7 mRNA was highly expressed in most lymphoid tissues (with the exception of the Harderian gland) and also in some non-lymphoid tissues (especially the heart, lung, skin and small intestine). Both chCCR6 and chCCR7 were expressed at the mRNA level in immature chicken bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (chBM-DC), as measured by real-time quantitative RT-PCR. After DC maturation following stimulation with LPS or CD40L, expression levels of chCCR6 mRNA were down-regulated, whereas those of chCCR7 were up-regulated, suggesting that these two chemokine receptors play a similar role in the trafficking of chicken DC as they do in mammals and that they act as markers of immature (chCCR6) and mature (chCCR7) DC. (C) 2011 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.