Abstract

Leukocyte migration is essential for their ability to react to inflammatory stimuli at various locations within the body. However, leukocyte movement is also crucial during non-inflammatory processes such as haematopoietic development and routine passage through secondary lymphoid organs, which is the key to effective antigen presentation. The importance of cell migration in the establishment and maintenance of an intact immune system has been demonstrated by numerous observations of immune defects in chemokine receptor deficient mice. This review describes the role of chemokines, their receptors and adhesion molecules in the regulation of the immune response during inflammatory and homeostatic conditions. In particular, we describe the molecular events regulating the recruitment of innate cells in response to infection and inflammation, leukocyte trafficking during developmental processes such as haematopoiesis and thymic maturation of T cells, and regulatory circuits that ensure immune surveillance and communication between innate and adaptive components of immunity.

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