The central role of chemokines (chemotactic cytokines) in the immunopathogenesis of ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease

Richard P. MacDermott, Ian R. Sanderson, Hans Christian Reinecker

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

129 Scopus citations


The final composition of leukocytes present in a site of inflammation in response to chemokine stimulation and activation may depend on both the nature of the secreted chemokines as well as the relative expression of the multitude of specific chemokine cell surface receptors on many different cell types. Because related receptors with different affinities and cross-reactive binding capabilities are present on each type of leukocyte, relative differences in receptor distribution and receptor affinity for specific chemokines may significantly influence which cells are ultimately attracted to and activated by each individual chemokine. Production of IL-8, MCP-1, and ENA-78 by endothelial cells, LPMNC, and epithelial cells in IBD could establish a chemotactic gradient capable of influencing the increased migration of monocytes/macrophages, granulocytes, and lymphocytes from the blood stream through the endothelium into both the mucosa and submucosa during chronic IBD. The ability of chemokines to induce chemotaxis, leukocyte activation, granule exocytosis, increased production of metalloenzymes, and up-regulation of respiratory burst activity indicates that there may be a variety of different mechanisms by which chemokines could markedly increase chronic inflammation and chronic intestinal tissue destruction in IBD.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)54-67
Number of pages14
JournalInflammatory bowel diseases
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1998
Externally publishedYes


  • Chemokines
  • Crohn's disease
  • Cytokines
  • Ulcerative colitis

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Gastroenterology


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