Compelling evidence now exists supporting the involvement of chemokines in the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Examples of chemokines and chemokine receptors being involved in mediating autoimmune disease exist for rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, allograft rejection, systemic lupus erythematosus, psoriasis, atopic dermatitis, lichen planus, and graft-versus-host-disease. Expression of chemokines by endothelial cells appears to be an important step in the development of these diseases. Since chemokines are small molecular weight molecules that act through Gprotein coupled receptors, they make attractive drug targets. Several antagonists of chemokine - chemokine receptor interactions have been used to successfully alleviate some or all of the symptoms associated with many of these diseases in animal models. Further investigation of the involvement of chemokines in the pathogenesis or progression of autoimmune diseases may lead to practical clinical advances in diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of such diseases.
Keywords: chemokine, chemokine receptor, autoimmune disease, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, systemic lupus erythematosus, allograft rejection
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