Among heterogeneous primary tumors of the central nervous system (CNS), gliomas are the most frequent type, with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) characterized with the worst prognosis. In their development, certain chemokine/receptor axes play important roles and promote proliferation, survival, metastasis, and neoangiogenesis. However, little is known about the significance of atypical receptors for chemokines (ACKRs) in these tumors. The objective of the study was to present the role of chemokines and their conventional and atypical receptors in CNS tumors. Therefore, we performed a thorough search for literature concerning our investigation via the PubMed database. We describe biological functions of chemokines/chemokine receptors from various groups and their significance in carcinogenesis, cancer-related inflammation, neo-angiogenesis, tumor growth, and metastasis. Furthermore, we discuss the role of chemokines in glioma development, with particular regard to their function in the transition from low-grade to high-grade tumors and angiogenic switch. We also depict various chemokine/receptor axes, such as CXCL8-CXCR1/2, CXCL12-CXCR4, CXCL16-CXCR6, CX3CL1-CX3CR1, CCL2-CCR2, and CCL5-CCR5 of special importance in gliomas, as well as atypical chemokine receptors ACKR1-4, CCRL2, and PITPMN3. Additionally, the diagnostic significance and usefulness of the measurement of some chemokines and their receptors in the blood and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) of glioma patients is also presented.
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