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Immunology. 2002 Feb;105(2):137-43.

Role of chemokines and chemokine receptors in the gastrointestinal tract.

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Liver Unit, Gastrointestinal Research Group, Faculty of Medicine, University of Calgary, 3330 Hospital Drive NW, Calgary, Alberta, Canada T2N 4N1.


The pathological association between leucocytes and gastrointestinal diseases has long been recognized. Chemokines are a large family of chemotactic cytokines whose fundamental role is the recruitment of leucocytes to tissues. Although chemokines and their receptors are considered to be mediators of inflammation and tissue injury in several inflammatory diseases, their precise role in the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal diseases remains incompletely understood. Nonetheless, by virtue of their expression and localization at sites of gastrointestinal tissue injury and inflammation, a number of investigators have suggested a vital role for chemokines and their receptors in the pathophysiology of gastrointestinal diseases. This short review examines the role of chemokines and their receptors in the gastrointestinal tract with an emphasis on their involvement in the regulation of intestinal and hepatic inflammation.

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