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Rev Immunogenet. 2000;2(3):339-58.

Chemokines and innate immunity.

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Department of Pathology, University of Michigan Medical School, Ann Arbor 48109, USA.


Our environment contains a great variety of infectious microbes that may be potentially destructive and threaten our survival. As soon as microbes try to establish a site of infection, the host launches a complex defense system. Innate immunity is a non-specific response and serves as the first-line of defense where phagocytes, such as neutrophils and macrophages, and NK cells play central roles in neutralizing and clearing microorganisms. Thus, migration of cells into infectious foci and subsequent activation of these cells appear to be a critical step, enabling the host to achieve effective and efficient removal of microbes. Over the past decade, chemokines have been identified as chemotactic cytokines that attract and activate specific types of leukocyte populations in vitro. There is now evidence that the magnitude of chemokines' expression in infectious diseases is strongly associated with the severity of the inflammatory responses. Blocking chemokines or their receptors with neutralizing antibodies or gene targeting technology has allowed us to understand the pathological significance of chemokines in animal models of infectious diseases. Growing evidence suggests that chemokines play an important beneficial role in immune system development, homeostasis and in innate immunity, which may pave the way for new therapeutic strategies for the treatment of infectious diseases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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