Submit Manuscript  

Article Details

Relationship Between the Chemokine Receptor CCR5 and Microglia in Neurological Disorders: Consequences of Targeting CCR5 on Neuroinflammation, Neuronal Death and Regeneration in a Model of Epilepsy

[ Vol. 12 , Issue. 6 ]


Jean-Pierre Louboutin and David S. Strayer   Pages 815 - 829 ( 15 )


Chemokines may play a role in leukocyte migration across the blood-brain barrier (BBB) during neuroinflammation and other neuropathological processes, such as epilepsy. The CC chemokine receptor 5 (CCR5) is a member of CC-chemokine receptor family that binds several chemokines, including CCL3 (macrophage inflammatory protein-1alpha, MIP-1alpha), CCL4 (macrophage inflammatory protein-1beta, MIP-1beta) and CCL5 (RANTES). The current review examines the relationship between CCR5 and the microglia in different neurological disorders and models of CNS injury. CCR5 expression is upregulated in different neurological diseases, where it is often immunolocalized in microglial cells. A multistep cascade couples CCR5 activation by chemokines to Ca(2+) increases in human microglia. Because changes in [Ca(2+)] (i) affect chemotaxis, secretion, and gene expression, pharmacologic modulation of this pathway may alter inflammatory and degenerative processes in the CNS. Consequently, targeting CCR5 by using CCR5 antagonists may attenuate critical aspects of neuroinflammation in different models of neurological disorders. To illustrate the interaction between CCR5 and microglia in the CNS, we used a model of excitotoxicity, and demonstrate the intimate involvement of CCR5 in neuron injury and inflammation attendant to kainic acid (KA)-induced neurotoxicity. CCR5 participates in neuronal injury caused by the excitotoxin, KA, brings inflammatory cells to the sites of KA-induced CNS injury, defines the extent of tissue loss after KA exposure and limits reparative responses. We used a SV40-derived vector carrying an interfering RNA (RNAi) that targets CCR5. Delivered directly to the bone marrow, this vector decreased CCR5 expression in circulating cells. Animals so treated showed greatly reduced expression of CCR5 and its ligands (MIP-1alpha and RANTES) in the CNS, including in the brain vasculature, decreased BBB leakage, demonstrated greater KA-stimulated neurogenesis and increased migration of bone marrow-derived cells to the brain to become neurons. Thus, therapeutic targeting of CCR5 may allow control of potentially injurious neuroinflammatory responses, including decrease in microglial cells activation and proliferation, and facilitate neurogenic repair in seizure-induced and, potentially, other forms of CNS injury.


CCR5, chemokines, epilepsy, gene therapy, microglia, neuroinflammation, neurological disorders, RNAi.


Department of Pathology, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, 1020 Locust Street, Philadelphia, PA 19107, USA.

Read Full-Text article