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Curr Opin Chem Biol. 2000 Aug;4(4):420-7.

The chemokine/chemokine-receptor family: potential and progress for therapeutic intervention.

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Department of Immunology and Rheumatology, Merck Research Laboratories, Rahway, New Jersey 07065, USA.


The chemokines are a large superfamily of chemotactic cytokines that are utilized to direct the trafficking and migration of leukocytes within the immune system. The chemokines mediate their activity through a large family of G-protein-coupled receptors, and thus are highly tractable as therapeutic targets. Exciting advances have been made in the field within the past year, not the least of which is the disclosure of potent antagonists of several chemokine receptors. Several CCR5 antagonists have demonstrated potent antiviral activity and may represent novel therapeutic agents for the treatment of AIDS. In addition, new biological insights have been gained from the demonstration that the targeting of cells to inflammatory sites is tissue specific, such that different chemokine/chemokine-receptor pairs are utilized in recruitment of T-lymphocytes to the skin and to the intestine. Also, utilization of neutralizing antibodies to the CXCR3 ligand Mig in murine allograft transplantation models has demonstrated the importance of CXCR3 in orchestrating T-cell-mediated tissue rejection.

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