Chemokines are small proteins that are well known as regulators of leukocyte migration. However, recent data have indicated that chemokines also play a number of roles in the nervous system. Here, we discuss the chemokine SDF-1/CXCL12, which has an important role in directing the migration of stem cells in the development of the nervous system. Deletion of the gene for SDF-1 or its receptor CXCR4 produces deficits in the development of numerous parts of the central and peripheral nervous systems. In the adult nervous system, SDF-1 takes on a role as a neurotransmitter and contributes to adult neurogenesis in the dentate gyrus. Other chemokines such as MCP-1/CCL2 are upregulated in the context of brain disease. In particular, we discuss the role of MCP-1 and its receptor CCR2 in the generation of chronic pain hypersensitivity. MCP-1 is upregulated by sensory nociceptors under these circumstances, and it plays a role in the control of nociceptor excitability. Overall, the data we discuss illustrate the extensive role of chemokines and their receptors in the control of neural development and disease.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Title of host publication||Chemokine Receptors and NeuroAIDS|
|Subtitle of host publication||Beyond Co-Receptor Function and Links to Other Neuropathologies|
|Publisher||Springer New York|
|Number of pages||30|
|State||Published - Jan 1 2010|
ASJC Scopus subject areas