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GPR84 was first identified as an open reading frame encoding an orphan Class A G protein coupled receptor in 2001. Gpr84 mRNA is expressed in a limited number of cell types with the highest levels of expression being in innate immune cells, M1 polarised macrophages and neutrophils. The first reported ligands for this receptor were medium chain fatty acids with chain lengths between 9 and 12 carbons. Subsequently a series of synthetic agonists that signal via the GPR84 receptor were identified. Radioligand binding assays and molecular modelling with site-directed mutagenesis suggest the presence of three ligand binding sites on the receptor, but the physiological agonist(s) of the receptor remain unidentified. Here, we review the effects of GPR84 agonists on innate immune cells following a series of chemical discoveries since 2001. The development of highly biased agonists has helped to probe receptor function in vitro, and the remaining challenge is to follow the effects of biased signalling to the physiological functions of innate immune cell types.

Original publication




Journal article


Br J Pharmacol

Publication Date



GPCR biased agonism, GPCRs and drug development, GPR84, macrophage biology, orphan GPCRs