Chemokine Signaling in the Nervous System and Its Role in Development and Neuropathology

Richard J. Miller*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter


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 languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationChemokine Receptors and NeuroAIDS
Subtitle of host publicationBeyond Co-Receptor Function and Links to Other Neuropathologies
PublisherSpringer New York
Number of pages30
ISBN (Electronic)9781441907936
ISBN (Print)9781441907929
StatePublished - Jan 1 2010

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine(all)
  • Neuroscience(all)


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