Chemokines and their receptors: drug targets in immunity and inflammation

Annu Rev Pharmacol Toxicol. 2008:48:171-97. doi: 10.1146/annurev.pharmtox.48.121806.154841.


The chemokine system coordinates leukocyte migration in immunity and inflammation and is implicated in the pathogenesis of many human diseases. Although several successful strategies have been identified to develop drugs targeting chemokines and their receptors, this has not yet resulted in many new therapeutics. This is likely due to a complexity of the chemokine system, which was not initially appreciated, that is characterized by redundancy, pleiotropy, and differences among species. Nevertheless, our understanding of chemokine biology is continuing to grow and several promising drugs are currently being tested in late-stage clinical trials. In this review, we examine the role of chemokines in health and diseases and discuss strategies to target the chemokine system.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Chemokines / drug effects
  • Chemokines / metabolism*
  • Drug Delivery Systems*
  • Humans
  • Immunity / drug effects
  • Immunity / physiology
  • Inflammation / drug therapy
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Leukocytes / metabolism
  • Receptors, Chemokine / drug effects
  • Receptors, Chemokine / metabolism*
  • Species Specificity


  • Chemokines
  • Receptors, Chemokine