Role of chemokines in the pathogenesis of acute lung injury

Am J Respir Cell Mol Biol. 2012 May;46(5):566-72. doi: 10.1165/rcmb.2011-0392TR. Epub 2012 Feb 9.


Acute lung injury (ALI) is due to an uncontrolled systemic inflammatory response resulting from direct injury to the lung or indirect injury in the setting of a systemic process. Such insults lead to the systemic inflammatory response syndrome (SIRS), which includes activation of leukocytes-alveolar macrophages and sequestered neutrophils-in the lung. Although systemic inflammatory response syndrome is a physiologic response to an insult, systemic leukocyte activation, if excessive, can lead to end organ injury, such as ALI. Excessive recruitment of leukocytes is critical to the pathogenesis of ALI, and the magnitude and duration of the inflammatory process may ultimately determine the outcome in patients with ALI. Leukocyte recruitment is a well orchestrated process that depends on the function of chemokines and their receptors. Understanding the mechanisms that contribute to leukocyte recruitment in ALI may ultimately lead to the development of effective therapeutic strategies.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Acute Lung Injury / etiology
  • Acute Lung Injury / physiopathology*
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Lymphocyte Activation
  • Macrophage Activation
  • Receptors, Chemokine / physiology


  • Chemokines
  • Receptors, Chemokine