The term chemotaxis is used to describe the movement of organisms or cells in response to the presence of a chemical or chemical gradient, whereby the orientation or movement of the organisms or cells is influenced in a positive or negative manner by the substance exhibiting chemical properties. Chemoattractants and chemorepellents function to induce either positive or negative chemotaxis respectively. Although both can include a number of organic and inorganic substances, the most commonly researched inducers of chemotaxis are chemokines, or cytokines secreted by cells for the purpose of driving cellular movement and activation. Considering the significance of chemotaxis in cellular movement during a number of biological processes, including immune response and development, it is of no surprise that a relatively large amount of emphasis has been placed upon research concerning chemotaxis and, more specifically, the Chemokines functioning to direct cellular movement.
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