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CXCR4 for CNS Infections

The purpose of the blood-brain barrier is to limit trafficking of leukocytes into the immune-privileged CNS. However, this becomes an undesirable trait when trying to clear acute CNS infections.1 Indeed, one component of the body's response to viral encephalitis is the development of high titers of virus-specific T cells with only limited ability to invade the CNS parenchyma.2

Now, researchers at Washington University School of Medicine have enlisted chemokine (CXC motif) receptor 4 (CXCR4) antagonists to promote T cell trafficking across the barrier and thus treat acute viral infections of the CNS.3

The approach is not virus specific and thus could have broad applicability across multiple types of CNS infections, but some researchers worry that excessive entry of virus-specific T cells into the brain could

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