Abstract The expression of a number of chemokines and chemokine receptors by cells resident in normal and pathological central nervous system (CNS) tissue has been characterized by in situ hybridization techniques. As a result, our understanding of the role of this cytokine family in neurobiology has been enhanced greatly. Specific methods for detecting chemokine and chemokine receptor mRNAs in situ vary with the number of these genes that have been characterized and encompass approaches widely utilized by other investigators characterizing cell-specific gene expression patterns. We describe methods that our laboratory has used successfully in characterizing chemokine and chemokine receptor expression in the CNS, focusing on protocols that utilize radiolabeled in vitro-transcribed riboprobes for detecting these transcripts. Because general dye-based histological staining methods do not readily differentiate astrocytes and microglia, specific immunohistochemical protocols are required for definitive localization of gene expression to these glial cell types. As such, methods that are compatible with the in situ hybridization procedure are included for staining astrocytes and microglia.