During the development of the nervous system, populations of progenitor cells that eventually become neurons and glia face the complex task of finding their way from their place of birth to their final destinations. What are the molecular processes that provide the information for guiding progenitor cells along their way? In this article, we discuss recent information indicating that chemokines and their receptors are of great importance in directing the proliferation and migration of immature neurons, glia and their precursors. Furthermore, chemokine receptor function in the nervous system continues to be important throughout adult life, and chemokines participate in various brain disorders, including AIDS dementia, neuroinflammatory disease and neuroplasia, making them important potential therapeutic targets in these cases.
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