Chemokines and chemokine receptors are important regulators of leukocyte trafficking and immune response. It is well established that chemokines and their receptors are also expressed in the central nervous system (CNS), where their expression has been associated with various neuroinflammatory diseases, such as multiple sclerosis (MS). One of the most important chemokines involved in MS pathology is CCL2 (previously known as MCP-1). CCL2, released by glial cells, activates the chemokine receptor CCR2, causing the infiltration of blood monocytes in tissues affected by MS. There is evidence, however, that CCL2 also has local effects on CNS cells, including induction or modulation of cytokine release and synthesis of matrix metalloproteinases, that might contribute to CNS pathology. These effects are most likely independent of CCR2, since CCR2 expression in glial cells is rarely observed. We have recently provided evidence for the presence of an alternative CCL2 receptor in glial cells called L-CCR and have investigated the expression of L-CCR mRNA in a murine EAE model. It is shown that L-CCR mRNA is expressed in infiltrating macrophages during EAE, but not in infiltrating T cells. Prominent expression of L-CCR mRNA was detected in astrocytes and microglia already at early time points throughout the brain and spinal cord supporting the hypothesis that L-CCR expression in glial cells is related to CNS inflammation.
Copyright 2004 Wiley-Liss, Inc.