Review: The chemokine receptor CXCR3 and its ligands CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11 in neuroimmunity--a tale of conflict and conundrum

Neuropathol Appl Neurobiol. 2010 Aug;36(5):368-87. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2990.2010.01089.x. Epub 2010 May 6.


The chemokine receptor CXCR3 and its ligands CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11 in neuroimmunity - a tale of conflict and conundrum The chemokines CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11 (also known as monokine induced by interferon-gamma, interferon-inducible protein-10 and interferon-inducible T cell alpha-chemoattractant, respectively) are structurally and functionally related molecules within the non-ELR CXC chemokine subgroup. These chemokines are generally not detectable in most non-lymphoid tissues under physiological conditions but are strongly induced by cytokines, particularly interferon-gamma, during infection, injury or immunoinflammatory responses. CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11 each bind to a common primary receptor, CXCR3, and possibly to additional receptors. They are best known for their role in leucocyte trafficking, principally acting on activated CD4+ Th1 cells, CD8+ T cells and NK cells. An abundance of data demonstrates that CXCL9, CXCL10 and CXCL11 are produced in many diverse pathologic conditions of the central nervous system. More recent attention has focussed on the function of these chemokines in the central nervous system inflammation. The results of these studies have proven to be sometimes surprising and other times contradictory. Here we discuss the likely more subtle and perhaps divergent roles for these chemokines in the pathogenesis of neuroinflammatory diseases.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Autoimmune Diseases of the Nervous System / immunology*
  • Chemokine CXCL11 / immunology*
  • Chemokine CXCL11 / metabolism
  • Chemokine CXCL9 / immunology*
  • Chemokine CXCL9 / metabolism
  • Encephalitis / immunology*
  • Humans
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, CXCR3 / immunology*
  • Receptors, CXCR3 / metabolism


  • Chemokine CXCL11
  • Chemokine CXCL9
  • Ligands
  • Receptors, CXCR3