CXCR3 expression in human central nervous system diseases

S. H. Goldberg, P. Van Der Meer, J. Hesselgesser, S. Jaffer, D. L. Kolson, A. V. Albright, F. González-Scarano, E. Lavi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

73 Scopus citations


The CXCR3 chemokine receptor, expressed on activated T lymphocytes, is seen within the central nervous system (CNS) in inflammatory conditions where a T-cell response is prominent. However, the distribution of CXCR3 in parenchymal CNS cells is unknown. Using a monoclonal antibody against CXCR3 and post-mortem tissue of patients with and without CNS pathology, we have determined its expression pattern. CXCR3 was found in subpopulations of cells morphologically consistent with astrocytes, particularly reactive astrocytes, and in cerebellar Purkinje cells. It was also detected in arterial endothelial and smooth muscle cells, particularly in areas associated with atherosclerotic plaques. CXCR3-positive astrocytes were particularly prominent in the CNS of HIV-positive patients, in patients with Multiple Sclerosis (MS), in ischaemic infarcts and in astrocytic neoplasms. Immunofluorescence studies of mixed adult primary glial cultures and fetal glial cultures also showed expression of CXCR3 in astrocytes. CXCR3 mRNA was detected in Purkinje cells by in situ hybridization with a CXCR3-specific probe. Thus, the predominant expression of CXCR3 in reactive astrocytes may indicate that it plays a role in the development of reactive gliosis in a variety of infectious, inflammatory, vascular and neoplastic processes in the CNS. The relationship between CXCR3 expression in astrocytes to its expression in Purkinje cells, endothelial cells and smooth muscle cells is yet to be determined.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)127-138
Number of pages12
JournalNeuropathology and Applied Neurobiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - 2001


  • Astrocytes
  • Chemokine receptors
  • HIV
  • MS
  • Purkinje cells
  • Stroke

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Pathology and Forensic Medicine
  • Histology
  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Physiology (medical)


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