Migration of leukocytes from the bone marrow to the circulation, the primary lymphoid organs and inflammatory sites is directed by chemokines and specific receptor interactions. Besides the role of this group of low molecular weight cytokines in leukocyte attraction and activation, anti-HIV and hematopoietic activities were also attributed to chemokines. On the basis of the number and arrangement of the conserved cysteines, chemokines are subdivided in two multi-member families, namely the CXC and CC chemokines, whereas fractalkine (CX3C) and lymphotactin (C) are unique relatives. The CC chemokines possess four cysteines of which the first two are adjacent. Functionally, they form a rather heterogeneous family. Here, the focus is on the monocyte chemotactic proteins and eotaxin which, on a structural basis, can be considered as a CC chemokine subfamily. Not only the protein sequences, but also the gene structures, chromosomal location, biological activities and receptor usage exhibit considerable similarities. The review is complemented with a comparison of the biological functions of the MCP/eotaxin-subfamily in physiology and pathology.