Immune cell migration in inflammation: present and future therapeutic targets

Nat Immunol. 2005 Dec;6(12):1182-90. doi: 10.1038/ni1275.


The burgeoning field of leukocyte trafficking has created new and exciting opportunities in the clinic. Trafficking signals are being defined that finely control the movement of distinct subsets of immune cells into and out of specific tissues. Because the accumulation of leukocytes in tissues contributes to a wide variety of diseases, these 'molecular codes' have provided new targets for inhibiting tissue-specific inflammation, which have been confirmed in the clinic. However, immune cell migration is also critically important for the delivery of protective immune responses to tissues. Thus, the challenge for the future will be to identify the trafficking molecules that will most specifically inhibit the key subsets of cells that drive disease processes without affecting the migration and function of leukocytes required for protective immunity.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Movement / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Immunotherapy / methods
  • Immunotherapy / trends*
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / immunology*
  • Inflammation / pathology*