Chemokines are a superfamily of structurally related cytokines that mediate leukocyte attraction and migration during inflammatory and immune responses. They are divided into 4 groups (CXC, CX3C, CC, and C), on the basis of their amino acid sequence in relation to their cysteine moieties. Chemokines have been shown to play a pathogenic role in several inflammatory disorders and have been implicated in the pathogenesis of several cardiovascular diseases such as congestive heart failure, atherosclerosis, myocarditis, and ischemia-reperfusion injury. Recently, an important role for chemokines has also been demonstrated in the pathogenesis of acute rejection and allograft vasculopathy following cardiac transplantation. Chemokine antagonism may represent a potential novel therapeutic strategy to attenuate the inflammatory response of several disease processes.
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