The recruitment of mononuclear leukocytes, and the migration, growth and activation of macrophages, lymphocytes and smooth muscle cells within lesions, are critical features of the chronic inflammatory response that typifies atherogenesis. Chemokines are members of a superfamily of small polypeptides that mediate not only migration, but also growth and activation of leukocytes and a variety of other cells. Monocyte chemoattractant and activating protein-1 was the first chemokine to be implicated in leukocyte-mediated inflammation in atherosclerosis. This review emphasizes new information on the potential atherogenic roles of monocyte chemoattractant and activating protein-1 and several other closely related chemokines of the C-C subfamily. We focus particular attention on the newly recognized atherogenic role of a subgroup of closely related chemokines of the C-X-C subfamily that includes interleukin-8 and growth regulated oncogene alpha. We also discuss new studies that reveal how CD40 ligand and certain other stimuli can promote chemokine expression in atherosclerosis.