Chemokine CXCL12 and its receptors in the developing central nervous system: emerging themes and future perspectives

Dev Neurobiol. 2012 Oct;72(10):1349-62. doi: 10.1002/dneu.22041. Epub 2012 Sep 1.


Homeostatic chemokine CXCL12 (also known as SDF-1) and its receptor CXCR4 are indispensable for the normal development of the nervous system. This chemokine system plays a plethora of functions in numerous neural developmental processes, from which the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms are beginning to be unravelled. Recent identification of CXCR7 as a second receptor for CXCL12 provides opportunities to gain deeper insights into how CXCL12 operates in the nervous system. Here, we review the diverse roles of CXCL12 in the developing central nervous system, summarize the recent progress in uncovering CXCR7 functions, and discuss the emerging common themes from these works and future perspectives.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Central Nervous System / embryology*
  • Central Nervous System / physiology*
  • Chemokine CXCL12 / physiology*
  • Humans
  • Neurogenesis / physiology*
  • Receptors, CXCR / physiology*


  • Chemokine CXCL12
  • Receptors, CXCR