Orthodontic tooth movement is achieved by the remodeling of alveolar bone in response to mechanical loading, and is supposed to be mediated by several host mediators, such as chemokines. In this study we investigated the pattern of mRNAs expression encoding for osteoblast and osteoclast related chemokines, and further correlated them with the profile of bone remodeling markers in palatal and buccal sides of tooth under orthodontic force, where tensile (T) and compressive (C) forces, respectively, predominate. Real-time PCR was performed with periodontal ligament mRNA from samples of T and C sides of human teeth submitted to rapid maxillary expansion, while periodontal ligament of normal teeth were used as controls. Results showed that both T and C sides exhibited significant higher expression of all targets when compared to controls. Comparing C and T sides, C side exhibited higher expression of MCP-1/CCL2, MIP-1α/CCL3 and RANKL, while T side presented higher expression of OCN. The expression of RANTES/CCL5 and SDF-1/CXCL12 was similar in C and T sides. Our data demonstrate a differential expression of chemokines in compressed and stretched PDL during orthodontic tooth movement, suggesting that chemokines pattern may contribute to the differential bone remodeling in response to orthodontic force through the establishment of distinct microenvironments in compression and tension sides.