Recent evidence indicates that cancer cells express chemokine (CK) receptors and that their signaling is crucial for tumor proliferation, migration, and angiogenesis. The profiles of expression of CXC CK receptors (CXCR1-5) and their main ligands (growth-related oncogene, GRO1-2-3/CXCL1-2-3; interleukin 8, IL-8/CXCL8; monokine-induced γ-interferon MIG/CXCL9; γ-interferon-inducible-protein-10, IP-10/CXCL10; stromal cell-derived factor-1, SDF1/CXCL12; B-cell activating CK-1, BCA-1/CXCL13) were analyzed by reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) in surgical samples of human meningiomas. All the five receptors displayed high percentages of positive cases: 92% CXCR1, 89% CXCR2, 83% CXCR3, 78% CXCR4, and 94% CXCR5. Conversely, their ligands showed a lower pattern of expression: 40% IL-8, 42% GRO1-3, 42% IP-10, 28% MIG, 53% SDF1, and 3% BCA-1. SDF1/CXCR4 interaction plays a pivotal role in cancer proliferation. Thus, the signaling mechanisms activated by the exclusive binding between SDF1 and CXCR4 was investigated in 12 primary cultures from meningioma tissues. CXCR4 was functionally coupled as demonstrated by the significant increase of DNA synthesis in meningioma cells in response to SDF1, measured by [3H]-thymidine uptake. In three primary cultures, the SDF1-dependent mitogenic activity was associated with a marked phosphorylation of extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK1/2) as evaluated by Western blots. PD98059 (a MEK inhibitor) significantly reduced ERK1/2 activation, thus linking the SDF1/CXCR4 pathway to meningioma cell proliferation via ERK1/2 signal transduction. We demonstrate, for the first time in human meningiomas, the simultaneous expression of CXCR1-5 and their CKs and the mitogenic activity of SDF1/CXCR4, suggesting a pivotal role of these receptor-ligand pairs in meningeal tumors.