Atherosclerosis is considered to be an inflammatory disease. Chemokines are low-molecular-weight proteins that exert their effects, in part, through mediating leukocytic infiltration into the vessel wall. Recently, studies have determined that chemokines and their receptors are present, and function on other cellular components comprising the arterial wall, such as the endothelium and vascular smooth muscle. Smooth muscle cells (SMC) constitute the major cellular element of the arterial wall and are located predominantly in the arterial media. Recent studies have demonstrated that SMC possess a number of functional chemokine receptors, including CCR5, CXCR4, and a receptor for monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1). It is likely that SMC are increasingly recognized as potential targets for chemokines, and that these effects may influence a variety of normal and pathological processes involving SMC such as atherosclerosis and arterial injury.