Neuron-microglia signaling: chemokines as versatile messengers

J Neuroimmunol. 2008 Jul 31;198(1-2):69-74. doi: 10.1016/j.jneuroim.2008.04.012. Epub 2008 Jun 5.


Our understanding of microglia biology has significantly changed in the last couple of years. Instead of being predominantly detrimental cells showing a stereotypic activation pattern, microglia today are considered highly adaptive elements with many distinct phenotypes. Microglia activity is aimed to protect and to restore and only in case of uncontrolled or impaired microglia function these cells may have detrimental effects. The control of microglia activity is thus an important issue to understand. The family of chemokines are versatile signals specialized to control cell-cell interactions. Neurons express chemokines in a temporarily and spatially regulated manner and microglia respond to these messengers via the appropriate receptors. Due to these features are chemokines ideal messengers for the communication between neurons and microglia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cell Communication / physiology
  • Chemokines / physiology*
  • Microglia / physiology*
  • Neurons / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Chemokines