Human glioma tumors express high levels of the chemokine receptor CX3CR1

Marco Locatelli, Leonardo Boiocchi, Stefano Ferrero, Filippo Martinelli Boneschi, Mario Zavanone, Samantha Pesce, Paola Allavena, Sergio Maria Gaini, Lorenzo Bello, Alberto Mantovani

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The chemokine receptor CX3CR1 and its cognate ligand CX3CL1 (also known as fractalkine), are involved in central nervous system pathophysiology, in particular, in the cross-talk between neurons and microglia. It was therefore important to investigate the expression of CX3CR1 in gliomas, the most frequently occurring, malignant brain tumors. In a consecutive series of 70 patients with primary, central nervous glial tumors, CX3CR1 was highly expressed in tumor cells as assessed by RT-PCR mRNA and protein levels, and by immunohistochemistry, while the corresponding normal cells were negative. Receptor immuno-positivity did not correlate with histology, grade, chromosomal (1p,19q) deletion, or with methylation of the DNA repair gene promoter MGMT (O6-methylguanine-DNA methyltransferase). Thus, CX3CR1 expression is a frequent event in gliomas, irrespective of tumor classification and clinical severity. The molecular basis underlying CX3CR1 up-regulation and its functional biological significance remain to be determined.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)27-33
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Cytokine Network
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2010


  • Chemokines
  • CX3CL1
  • CX3CR1
  • Gliomas
  • Histochemistry

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Immunology
  • Immunology and Allergy
  • Clinical Biochemistry


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