Inflammatory response represents one of the first immune processes following injury. It is characterized by the production of various molecules that initiate the recruitment of immune cells to the lesion sites, including in the brain. Accordingly, in acute brain trauma, such as stroke, as well as during chronic affections like multiple sclerosis or Alzheimer's disease, inflammation occurs in order to "clean up" the lesion and to limit its area. Nevertheless, prolonged and sustained inflammation may have cytotoxic effects, aggravating the incidence and the severity of the disease. Among molecules produced during inflammation associated to neuronal death, monocyte chemoattractant proteins (MCPs) seem to be particularly important. This review will focus on the current knowledge about one of the MCPs, CCL2, and its cognate receptor, CCR2, both expressed in physiological conditions and during neurodegenerative diseases.
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