GRO-alpha and CXCR2 in the human fetal brain and multiple sclerosis lesions

Dev Neurosci. Mar-Aug 2003;25(2-4):279-90. doi: 10.1159/000072275.


Chemokines, small proinflammatory cytokines, are involved in migration of inflammatory cells, but also have a role in normal central nervous system development. One chemokine, growth-related oncogene-alpha (GRO-alpha) and its receptor CXCR2, are involved in proliferation and migration of oligodendrocyte progenitors in rats. Here we studied the regional and cell type-specific expression of GRO-alpha and CXCR2 in the human telencephalon at midgestation, the time that oligodendrocytes are being generated in the human brain. Our results showed that both GRO-alpha and CXCR2 are predominately expressed by oligodendrocyte progenitors and activated microglial cells in the highly proliferative subventricular zone. This cellular and regional localization suggests that GRO-alpha/CXCR2 may play a role in human oligodendrocyte proliferation and subsequent migration. We also studied the expression of GRO-alpha and CXCR2 in brain sections of multiple sclerosis (MS) patients. Consistent with their role in the inflammatory process of MS, both GRO-alpha and CXCR2 were expressed in activated microglia localized on the border of MS lesions. However, neither GRO-alpha nor CXCR2 were present in early oligodendrocyte progenitors, a finding that may partially explain why remyelination is not more efficient in MS.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Astrocytes / metabolism
  • Brain / growth & development
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Cell Division
  • Cell Movement
  • Chemokine CXCL1
  • Chemokines / biosynthesis*
  • Chemokines, CXC*
  • Chemotactic Factors / biosynthesis*
  • Female
  • Fetus
  • Fluorescent Antibody Technique
  • Humans
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins / biosynthesis*
  • Microglia / cytology
  • Microglia / metabolism
  • Multiple Sclerosis / metabolism*
  • Neurons / metabolism
  • Oligodendroglia / cytology*
  • Oligodendroglia / metabolism
  • Pregnancy
  • Receptors, Interleukin-8B / biosynthesis*
  • Stem Cells / cytology
  • Stem Cells / metabolism
  • Up-Regulation


  • CXCL1 protein, human
  • Chemokine CXCL1
  • Chemokines
  • Chemokines, CXC
  • Chemotactic Factors
  • Intercellular Signaling Peptides and Proteins
  • Receptors, Interleukin-8B