Chemokine Receptors and Neurodegeneration

The blood-brain barrier isolates the healthy CNS from circulating cells of the immune system. Within the CNS, microglia act as immune cells and when activated they are capable of releasing proinflammatory and cytotoxic substances including chemokines. More than 50 human chemokines have been identified and grouped into four subfamilies (a, p, g, and 5) based on the pattern of two cysteine residues in the N-terminal domain, each with a corresponding family of GPCRs (Table 7.2). Receptors within each subfamily show some promiscuity for chemokine ligands.

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