Chemokines regulate inflammation, leukocyte trafficking, and immune cell differentiation. The role of chemokines in homing of naive T lymphocytes to secondary lymphatic organs is probably the best understood of these processes, and information on chemokines in inflammation, asthma, and neurological diseases is rapidly increasing. Over the past 15 years, understanding of the size and functional complexity of the chemokine family of peptide chemoattractants has grown substantially. In this review, we first present information regarding the structure, expression, and signaling properties of chemokines and their receptors. The second part is a systems physiology-based overview of the roles that chemokines play in tissue-specific homing of lymphocyte subsets and in trafficking of inflammatory cells. This review draws on recent experimental findings as well as current models proposed by experts in the chemokine field.