Osteopontin: A key link between immunity, inflammation and the central nervous system

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34 Scopus citations


Osteopontin (OPN) is a pro-inflammatory cytokine that can be secreted from many cells including activated macrophages and T-lymphocytes. Elevated levels of osteopontin in the plasma, cerebrospinal fluid or brain of individuals with neurodegenerative diseases such as multiple sclerosis (MS), Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease and more recently in HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder has been reported. However, except for the case of MS, little is known regarding the molecular mechanisms by which OPN may exacerbate disease. Alternatively, OPN through its ability to promote cell survival may in some contexts function in the brain in a protective capacity. OPN has several protein motifs that allow it to engage with several different signaling pathways involved in immunity and inflammation. A better understanding of the cellular pathways that are regulated by OPN in cells of the central nervous system is required to uncover its putative role in neuronal homeostasis.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)288-293
Number of pages6
JournalTranslational Neuroscience
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2012


  • CD44
  • HIV-associated neurocognitive disorder
  • Integrin
  • Macrophage
  • Microglia
  • Neurodegeneration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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