Author(s): DeGraba TJ
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Abstract A growing body of evidence, primarily from animal models of cerebral ischemia and preliminary human studies, indicates that inflammatory mechanisms contribute to secondary neuronal injury after acute cerebral ischemia. Ischemia followed by reperfusion rapidly leads to the expression of inflammatory cytokines, particularly tumor necrosis factor-alpha and interleukin-1beta, which stimulate a complex cascade of events involving local endothelial cells, neurons, astrocytes, and perivascular cells. A secondary response includes the release of other cytokines, an increase in components of the coagulation system, an upregulation of cell adhesion molecule expression, and changes in the expression of components of the immune response. The net effect of these events is transformation of the local endothelium to a prothrombotic/proinflammatory state and induction of leukocyte migration to the site of injury. A number of studies have shown that leukocyte migration occurs within hours of reperfusion. Leukocytes accumulate in the injured region, where they cause tissue injury by several mechanisms, including occlusion of microvasculature, generation of oxygen free radicals, release of cytotoxic enzymes, alteration of vasomotor reactivity, and increase in cytokine and chemoattractant release. Monoclonal antibodies against leukocyte adhesion molecules have been shown to reduce infarct volume in animal models of ischemia-reperfusion. However, this treatment failed to show benefit in the Enlimomab Acute Stroke Trial. A number of factors may complicate the use of antibody directed adhesion molecule blockade in acute stroke and will be discussed in this article. Overall, an increased understanding of inflammatory and immunologic mechanisms still offers great potential for reducing acute stroke injury.
This article was published in Neurology
and referenced in Clinical Pharmacology & Biopharmaceutics