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Ann Rheum Dis. Nov 2004; 63(Suppl 2): ii84–ii89.
PMCID: PMC1766778

Chemokines: role in inflammation and immune surveillance


Chemotactic migration of leucocytes largely depends on adhesive interaction with the substratum and recognition of a chemoattractant gradient. Both aspects, cell adhesion and chemotaxis, are regulated by members of the family of chemotactic cytokines (chemokines) comprising structurally related and secreted proteins of 67–127 amino acids in length. Breakdown in the control of leucocyte mobilisation contributes to chronic inflammatory diseases and, hence, interference with chemokine function is a promising approach for the development of novel anti-inflammatory medication. Chemokines target all types of leucocyte, including haematopoietic precursors, mature leucocytes of the innate immune system as well as naive, memory, and effector lymphocytes. The combinatorial diversity in responsiveness to chemokines ensures proper tissue distribution of distinct leucocyte subsets under normal and inflammatory/pathological conditions. Here, we discuss recent views on the role of chemokines in controlling tissue localisation of human memory T cells under steady state (non-inflamed) conditions. Emphasis is placed on a concept describing distinct subsets of memory T cells according to their primary residence in peripheral blood, secondary lymphoid tissues, or peripheral (extralymphoid) tissues.

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Selected References

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Figures and Tables

Figure 1
 Chemokine–receptor interactions. Chemokine receptors are embedded into the membrane by seven transmembrane domains. The NH2-terminus and three extracellular loop regions are involved in chemokine binding, and the COOH-terminus and three ...
Figure 2
 Recruitment, localisation, and tissue exit of circulating leucocytes. Tissue localisation of leucocytes involves two distinct and sequential processes, termed extravasation and chemotaxis. During extravasation, blood leucocytes interact with ...
Figure 3
 Chemokine receptors define distinct migratory T cell subsets. Naive T cells develop into effector and memory T cells accompanied by major changes in chemokine receptor expression and responsiveness to chemokines. Effector T cells are short lived ...
Figure 4
 Complex composition of chemokines and chemokine receptors in rheumatoid arthritis. (A) As an example, inflammatory cells in the affected synovial tissue express Th 1 typical chemokine receptors CXCR3 and CCR5 but not the CCR3, which is more ...
Figure 5
 CCR8 marks skin selective immune surveillance T (TPS) cells. (A) CCL1, the only ligand chemokine for CCR8, is expressed in small amounts by epidermal Langerhans cells (LC) and melanocytes (M) as well as blood vessels in the superficial dermal ...

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