Chemokine receptors CCR2, CCR5 and CXCR3 are involved in the regulation of macrophage- and T cell-mediated immune responses and in the migration and activation of these cells. In order to determine whether blockade of these chemokine receptors modulates intestinal inflammation, we investigated here the effect of a non-peptide chemokine receptor antagonist, TAK-779 (N,N-dimethyl-N-[4-[[[2-(4-methylphenyl)-6,7-dihydro-5H-benzocyclohepten-8-yl]carbonyl]amino]benzyl]-tetrahydro-2H-pyran-4-aminium chloride), in mice with dextran sodium sulfate (DSS)-induced experimental colitis. C57BL/6 mice were fed 5% DSS in their drinking water for up to 7 days with or without the administration of TAK-779. The severity of inflammation in the colon was assessed by clinical signs and histological examination. Infiltration of inflammatory cells into the mucosa was analyzed by immunohistochemistry, and the expression of cytokine and chemokine mRNAs in tissues was quantitated by reverse transcription-PCR. During DSS-induced colitis, the recruitment of monocytes/macrophages into the colonic mucosa and the induction of proinflammatory cytokines correlated with the severity of intestinal inflammation. The onset of clinical signs and histopathologic features were delayed in animals treated with TAK-779. The expression of CCR2, CCR5 and CXCR3 mRNAs was inhibited in the TAK-779-treated mice. Consistent with these results, infiltration of monocytes/macrophages into the lamina propria was almost completely inhibited and the expression of colonic IL-1beta and IL-6 was significantly decreased in the TAK-779-treated mice. The blockade of CCR2, CCR5 and CXCR3 prevents murine experimental colitis by inhibiting the recruitment of inflammatory cells into the mucosa. Therefore, chemokines and their receptors may be therapeutic targets for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.