OBJECTIVES: Bone marrow-derived mesenchymal stem cells (BMSCs) are a good source for cartilage repair. Chondral defects do not heal spontaneously due to a lack of chondrocytes at the defect site and migration of surrounding chondrocytes to the injury site. The purpose of this study was to determine the expression of 19 chemokine receptors in human BMSCs stimulated by IL-1beta and TNF-alpha as an in vitro cartilage-injury condition. MATERIALS & METHODS: MSCs isolated from human bone marrow were expended for the experiments. Specifically, cells were grown either in the presence or absence of pro-inflammatory cytokines, such as IL-1beta and TNF-alpha. RT-PCR was performed to evaluate the expression of 19 chemokine receptors. To evaluate changes in the expression of chemokine receptors, a reverse dot-blot assay was performed. RESULTS: We observed increased expression of CCR4, CCR6, CCR7, CCR9, CCR10, CXCR1, CXCR4, CXCR6, and CXCR7 in untreated BMSCs, while inflammation-induced BMSCs exhibited enhanced expression of CCR9, CCR10, CXCR1, CXCR4, CXCR5, CXCR6, and CXCR7. Collectively, the results showed CCR9/CYA-25, CCR10/SCYA-28, CXCR1/IL-8, CXCR4/SDF-1, CXCR6/CXCL-16, and CXCR7/SDF-1 (receptor/ligand) were expressed in normal BMSCs and showed a gradual increase upon treatment with pro-inflammatory cytokines. CONCLUSIONS: We suggest that chemokines, including SCYA-25, SCYA-28, IL-8, CXCL-16 and SDF-1 can be useful in repairing damaged articular cartilage.