The role of chemokines in rheumatoid arthritis and osteoarthritis

Scand J Rheumatol. 2005 Nov-Dec;34(6):415-25. doi: 10.1080/03009740500439159.


The directed movement of immune cells is highly dependent on the chemokine network. Chemokines are key molecules early in the embryogenesis of lymph nodes and throughout adult life, where they regulate immune responses against pathogens. Although immune cells are best known for expressing chemokine receptors, through which they can respond to matching chemokines, endothelial cells also express chemokine receptors. The directed movement of endothelial cells facilitates angiogenesis. In chronic inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis (RA), chemokines are abundantly present at the site of inflammation and form a group of potential therapeutic targets. Some agents that block chemokine-chemokine receptor interaction are already under clinical investigation. The expression of chemokine receptors has also been found in cell types other than immune cells and endothelial cells. Chondrocytes, for instance, express several chemokine receptors. Elucidating their function may provide new insights into joint degradation in RA as well as in other conditions, including osteoarthritis (OA).

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Arthritis, Rheumatoid / metabolism*
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Humans
  • Immunity / physiology
  • Osteoarthritis / metabolism*
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism


  • Chemokines
  • Receptors, Chemokine