, Volume 16, Issue 3, pp 124-130

Fractalkine in rheumatoid arthritis and allied conditions

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Leukocyte adhesion and trafficking at the endothelium requires both adhesion molecules and chemotactic factors. Fractalkine (CX3C) is a unique chemokine, and is expressed on tumor necrosis factor-α- and interleukin-1-activated endothelial cells (ECs). Fractalkine receptor, CX3CR1, is expressed on NK cells, monocytes, and some portion of CD4- and CD8-positive T cells. Interactions between fractalkine and CX3CR1 can mediate not only chemotaxis, but also cell adhesion in the absence of substrates for other adhesion molecules. Furthermore, fractalkine activates NK cells, leading to increased cytotoxicity and interferon-γ production. Recently, accumulating evidence has shown that fractalkine is involved in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and allied conditions. This review examines new concepts underlying fractalkine-mediated leukocyte migration and tissue damage, focusing primarily on the pathophysiological roles of fractalkine in rheumatic diseases.