The Third Path: Chemokines in Neuronal Communication

The Third Path
Reported by
Jill U. Adams

Posted April 23, 2007

Presented By

Presented by Neuroimmunology Discussion Group


Chemokines are a family of small cytokines whose name derives from their ability to induce chemotaxis in immune cells. The family is divided into four groups based on the number and location of the cysteine disulfide bridges that determine the three-dimensional structure of the protein.

At a February 5, 2007, Academy meeting, Martin Adler discussed the chemokine hypothesis of interneuronal communication. He proposed that chemokines are present in neurons, coreleased with neurotransmitters, and act on receptors at adjacent neurons. Receptor action may lead to changes in neuronal excitability or affect the phosphorylation state (and thus the sensitivity) of other membrane receptors.

Use the tabs above to find a meeting report and multimedia from this event.

Journal Articles

Adler MW, Geller EB, Chen X, Rogers TJ. 2006. Viewing chemokines as a third major system of communication in the brain. AAPS J. 7: E865-870. FULL TEXT

Adler MW, Rogers TJ. 2005. Are chemokines the third major system in the brain? J. Leukoc. Biol. 78: 1204-1209. FULL TEXT

Banisadr G, Skrzydelski D, Kitabgi P, et al. 2003. Highly regionalized distribution of stromal cell-derived factor-1/CXCL12 in adult rat brain: constitutive expression in cholinergic, dopaminergic and vasopressinergic neurons. Eur. J. Neurosci. 18: 1593–1606.

Chen X, Geller EB, Rogers T, Adler MW. 2006. Rapid heterologous desensitization of antinociceptive activity between mu or delta opioid receptors and chemokine receptors in rats. Drug Alcohol Depend. [Epub ahead of print].


Martin W. Adler, PhD

Temple University School of Medicine
e-mail | web site | publications

Martin Adler has a long career of studying how the endogenous opioids are involved in physiological processes like nociception, thermoregulation, and immune function. Recent interests focus on the interaction between the chemical messengers of the nervous system, like opioids, and the chemical messengers of the immune system, like cytokines and chemokines.

Adler was educated in New York City, completing a bachelor of arts degree at New York University, a bachelor of science degree at the Brooklyn College of Pharmacy, a master of science degree at Columbia Univeristy, and a doctorate at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. He is now professor of pharmacology at Temple University School of Medicine in Philadelphia, and the director of Temple's Center for Substance Abuse Research. He also serves as the executive secretary of the College on Problems of Drug Dependence, a professional society of drug abuse researchers.

Jill U. Adams

Jill U. Adams is a scientist-turned-science-writer based in Albany, New York.