Chemokines and their receptors have principal roles in leukocyte trafficking under normal physiological and pathological conditions. The differential expression of the chemokine system in different parts of the CNS provides insights into the processes that are required for normal immune surveillance and pathological immune-mediated effector processes. Insights derived from studying multiple sclerosis, an inflammatory disorder of the CNS in humans, and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, an animal model of this disorder, aid in further understanding the complexities of chemokine-mediated inflammation. Knowledge of the molecular biology of chemokines and their receptors, and the roles of specific chemokine ligands and receptors in the CNS in health and in disease have made these proteins targets for therapeutic intervention in neuroinflammation. We also discuss currently proposed and potentially useful chemokine receptor antagonists. © 2006 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.