The role of chemokines in B cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia: pathophysiological aspects and clinical impact

Ann Hematol. 2010 May;89(5):437-46. doi: 10.1007/s00277-009-0876-6. Epub 2009 Dec 18.


Chemokines are centrally involved in leukocyte migration, homing and haematopoiesis. Besides these physiological aspects, their role in pathological processes especially with respect to solid tumour and haematological neoplasias is well established. In this context, the focus was set here on disclosing their contribution in B cell chronic lymphocytic leukaemia (B-CLL), which is regarded as the most characteristic low-grade lymphoma. Up to now, it has been demonstrated that several chemokines are involved in migration of B-CLL cells to lymph nodes, secondary lymphoid organs and bone marrow. Moreover, some chemokines are known to have an anti-apoptotic effect and thus contribute to the survival of B-CLL cells. By interfering with both of these aspects, new therapeutic targets for this yet incurable disease may be developed. Furthermore, a correlation can be drawn between the concentration of some chemokines in patients' serum, the expression of their respective receptors on B-CLL cells and well-established predictive clinical parameters. Consequently, further systematic investigation of the chemokine network may lead to the identification of new diagnostic and prognostic markers. This review focuses on the impact of chemokines and their receptors on B-CLL pathophysiology and points out potential implications for both treatment and diagnosis.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / metabolism
  • B-Lymphocyte Subsets / pathology
  • Cell Movement / immunology
  • Chemokines / biosynthesis
  • Chemokines / classification
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / metabolism*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / pathology
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / physiopathology*
  • Leukemia, Lymphocytic, Chronic, B-Cell / therapy
  • Lymphocyte Activation / immunology
  • Receptors, Chemokine / physiology*


  • Chemokines
  • Receptors, Chemokine