Chemokines beyond chemo-attraction: CXCL10 and its significant role in cancer and autoimmunity

Cytokine. 2018 Sep;109:24-28. doi: 10.1016/j.cyto.2018.02.012. Epub 2018 Feb 12.


Chemokines are mostly known for their chemotactic properties, and less for their ability to direct the biological function of target cells, including T cells. The current review focuses on a key chemokine named CXCL10 and its role in directing the migratory propertied and biological function of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells in the context of cancer and inflammatory autoimmunity. CXCR3 is a chemokine receptor that is abundant on CD4+ T cells, CD8+ T cells and NK cells. It has three known ligands: CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11. Different studies, including those coming form our laboratory, indicated that aside of attracting CD8+ and CD4+ effector T cells to tumor sites and sites of inflammation CXCL10 directs the polarization and potentiates the biological function of these cells. This makes CXCL10 a "key driver chemokine" and a valid target for therapy of autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory Bowl's Disease, Multiple Sclerosis, Rheumatoid arthritis and others. As for cancer this motivated different groups, including our group to develop CXCL10 based therapies for cancer due to its ability to enhance T-dependent anti cancer immunity. The current review summarizes these findings and their potential translational implication.

Keywords: Autoimmunity; CXCL10; CXCR3; Cancer; Chemokines.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmunity / immunology*
  • CD4-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • CD8-Positive T-Lymphocytes / immunology*
  • Chemokine CXCL10 / metabolism*
  • Chemotaxis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Inflammation / immunology
  • Mice
  • Neoplasms / pathology*


  • CXCL10 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL10