Chemokines constitute a growing family of structurally and functionally related small (8-10 kDa) proteins associated with inflammatory-cell recruitment in host defence. In addition to their well-established role in the immune system, recent data suggest their involvement in the maintenance of CNS homeostasis, in neuronal patterning during ontogeny and as potential mediators of neuroinflammation, playing an essential role in leukocyte infiltration into the brain. Chemokines and their G protein-coupled receptors are constitutively expressed at low-to-negligible levels in various cell types in the brain. Their expression is rapidly induced by various neuroinflammatory stimuli, implicating them in various neurological disorders such as trauma, stroke and Alzheimer's disease, in tumour induction and in neuroimmune diseases such as multiple sclerosis or acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS). Here, F. Mennicken, R. Maki, E. B. De Souza and R. Quirion briefly summarize recent exciting findings in the field.