Chemotactic cytokines, termed chemokines, mediate the ingress of leukocytes into the inflamed synovium. In this review, authors discuss the role of the most relevant chemokines and chemokine receptors involved in chronic inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Rheumatoid arthritis was chosen as a prototype to discuss these issues, as the majority of studies on the role of chemokines in inflammatory diseases were carried out in arthritis. However, other rheumatic diseases including systemic lupus erythematosus, systemic sclerosis, Sjogrens syndrome, mixed connective tissue disease, polymyositis/dermatomyositis, antiphospholipid syndrome and systemic vasculitides are also discussed in this context. Apart from discussing the pathogenic role of chemokines and their receptors, authors also review the regulation of chemokine production by other inflammatory mediators, as well as the important relevance of chemokines for antirheumatic therapies.