Chemokines and immunity
Chemokines are a large family of small cytokines and generally have low molecular weight ranging from 7 to 15kDa. Chemokines and their receptors are able to control the migration and residence of all immune cells. Some chemokines are considered pro-inflammatory, and their release can be induced during an immune response at a site of infection, while others are considered homeostatic and are involved in controlling of cells migration during tissue development or maintenance. The physiologic importance of this family of mediators is resulting from their specificity − members of the chemokine family induce recruitment of well-defined leukocyte subsets. There are two major chemokine sub-families based upon cysteine residues position: CXC and CC. As a general rule, members of the CXC chemokines are chemotactic for neutrophils, and CC chemokines are chemotactic for monocytes and sub-set of lymphocytes, although there are some exceptions. This review discusses the potential role of chemokines in inflammation focusing on the two best-characterized chemokines: monocyte chemoattractant protein-1, a CC chemokine, and interleukin-8, a member of the CXC chemokine sub-family.