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Int J Clin Lab Res. 1996;26(2):69-82.

Chemokines: a superfamily of chemotactic cytokines.

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Istituto di Ricerche Farmacologiche, Mario Negri, Milan, Italy.


Chemokines are a bipartite family of chemotactic proteins that bear the structural hallmark of four cysteine residues, the first two of which are in tandem. The spectrum of action of chemokines encompasses a large number of leukocyte populations, including monocytes, granulocytes, lymphocytes, NK and dendritic cells. Although the spectrum of action of chemokines largely overlaps, clear differences are still present. Chemokines play an important role in the recruitment of leukocytes at the site of inflammation, allergic reaction and tumors. Available information on receptor usage by MCP-1 and related chemokines and signal transduction pathways is reviewed. The better understanding of signaling mechanisms will provide a new basis for the development of therapeutic strategies.

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