Macrophage inflammatory protein (MIP)-1alpha is a chemokine that is associated with Th1 cytokine responses. Expression and antibody blocking studies have implicated MIP-1alpha in multiple sclerosis (MS) and in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). We examined the role of MIP-1alpha and its CCR5 receptor in the induction of EAE by immunizing C57BL / 6 mice deficient in either MIP-1alpha or CCR5 with myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein (MOG). We found that MIP-1alpha-deficient mice were fully susceptible to MOG-induced EAE. These knockout animals were indistinguishable from wild-type mice in Th1 cytokine gene expression, the kinetics and severity of disease, and infiltration of the central nervous system by lymphocytes, macrophages and granulocytes. RNase protection assays showed comparable accumulation of mRNA for the chemokines interferon-inducible protein-10, RANTES, macrophage chemoattractant protein-1, MIP-1beta, MIP-2, lymphotactin and T cell activation gene-3 during the course of the disease. CCR5-deficient mice were also susceptible to disease induction by MOG. The dispensability of MIP-1alpha and CCR5 for MOG-induced EAE in C57BL / 6 mice supports the idea that differential chemokine expression patterns represent differences in disease mechanism that underlie various models of EAE, and possibly distinct patterns of pathology seen in MS.