The intestinal mucosa, the innermost layer of the bowel wall, is involved in various immunological and inflammatory processes orchestrated by a large number of mucosal immune cells and migrated leukocytes. Migration of leukocytes into the intestinal mucosa appears to be regulated by chemokines, a large group of chemotactic cytokines produced by multiple cell types including epithelial cells, endothelial cells and leukocytes. They mediate their activities by binding to an array of shared and specific chemokine receptors on leukocytes. Here we review the evidence supporting a role for chemokines and their receptors in gut homeostasis and disease, and discuss their potential use in therapy of inflammatory bowel diseases.
Keywords: Chemokines, chemokine receptors, gut, intestinal inflammation, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, intestinal mucosa, leukocytes, gut homeostasis, CCL25, CCL21, CCR10, CXC chemokines