Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) represents the 3rd leading cause of death in the world. The underlying pathophysiological mechanisms have been the focus of extensive research in the past. The lung has a complex architecture, where structural cells interact continuously with immune cells that infiltrate into the pulmonary tissue. Both types of cells express chemokines and chemokine receptors, making them sensitive to modifications of concentration gradients. Cigarette smoke exposure and recurrent exacerbations, directly and indirectly, impact the expression of chemokines and chemokine receptors. Here, we provide an overview of the evidence regarding chemokines involvement in COPD, and we hypothesize that a dysregulation of this tightly regulated system is critical in COPD evolution, both at a stable state and during exacerbations. Targeting chemokines and chemokine receptors could be highly attractive as a mean to control both chronic inflammation and bronchial remodeling. We present a special focus on the CXCL8-CXCR1/2, CXCL9/10/11-CXCR3, CCL2-CCR2, and CXCL12-CXCR4 axes that seem particularly involved in the disease pathophysiology.
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