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      Therapeutically Targeting Neuroinflammation and Microglia after Acute Ischemic Stroke


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          Inflammation has a pivotal role in the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke, and recent studies posit that inflammation acts as a double-edged sword, not only detrimentally augmenting secondary injury, but also potentially promoting recovery. An initial event of inflammation in ischemic stroke is the activation of microglia, leading to production of both pro- and anti-inflammatory mediators acting through multiple receptor signaling pathways. In this review, we discuss the role of microglial mediators in acute ischemic stroke and elaborate on preclinical and clinical studies focused on microglia in stroke models. Understanding how microglia can lead to both pro- and anti-inflammatory responses may be essential to implement therapeutic strategies using immunomodulatory interventions in ischemic stroke.

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          Inflammatory cytokines in experimental and human stroke.

          Inflammation is a hallmark of stroke pathology. The cytokines, tumor necrosis factor (TNF), interleukin (IL)-1, and IL-6, modulate tissue injury in experimental stroke and are therefore potential targets in future stroke therapy. The effect of these cytokines on infarct evolution depends on their availability in the ischemic penumbra in the early phase after stroke onset, corresponding to the therapeutic window (<4.5 hours), which is similar in human and experimental stroke. This review summarizes a large body of literature on the spatiotemporal and cellular production of TNF, IL-1, and IL-6, focusing on the early phase in experimental and human stroke. We also review studies of cytokines in blood and cerebrospinal fluid in stroke. Tumor necrosis factor and IL-1 are upregulated early in peri-infarct microglia. Newer literature suggests that IL-6 is produced by microglia, in addition to neurons. Tumor necrosis factor- and IL-1-producing macrophages infiltrate the infarct and peri-infarct with a delay. This information is discussed in the context of suggestions that neuronal sensitivity to ischemia may be modulated by cytokines. The fact that TNF and IL-1, and suppossedly also IL-6, are produced by microglia within the therapeutic window place these cells centrally in potential future stroke therapy.
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            Enhanced expression of Iba1, ionized calcium-binding adapter molecule 1, after transient focal cerebral ischemia in rat brain.

            Iba1 is a novel calcium-binding protein and is specifically expressed in microglia in the brain. It has been suggested that Iba1 plays an important role in regulation of the function of microglia. In the present study we examined time-dependent Iba1 expression after transient middle cerebral artery occlusion and characterized microglial activation in various brain regions. Rat middle cerebral artery occlusion was induced by the intraluminal filament technique. After 1.5 hours of transient ischemia, Iba1 expression was examined by immunohistochemical and immunoblot analyses. The microglial activation in association with ischemic severity was characterized by double immunostaining with other specific markers. In the peri-ischemic area, heavily Iba1 immunoreactive cells rapidly appeared at 3.5 hours after reperfusion. Immunoreactivity was further increased and peaked at 7 days. In the ischemic core, round Iba1-positive cells, which may be blood-borne monocytes, appeared from 24 hours and reached a peak at 4 to 7 days. Double immunostaining revealed that activated microglia in the peri-ischemic area upregulated Iba1 expression but were negative for the macrophage marker ED1. ED1-positive cells were clearly restricted to the ischemic core. These findings suggest the following: (1) Iba1 expression may be associated with microglial activation in ischemic brain, and Iba1 immunostaining can be useful to evaluate the pathophysiological roles of activated microglia in ischemic injury. (2) Expression of ED1 antigen is strictly restricted to severe ischemic damage, whereas activated microglia in the peri-ischemic area showed Iba1 upregulation without ED1. Therefore, microglia may exhibit difference of antigenicity in the severity of ischemic brain injury.
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              Role of inflammation and its mediators in acute ischemic stroke.

              Inflammation plays an important role in the pathogenesis of ischemic stroke and other forms of ischemic brain injury. Increasing evidence suggests that inflammatory response is a double-edged sword, as it not only exacerbates secondary brain injury in the acute stage of stroke but also beneficially contributes to brain recovery after stroke. In this article, we provide an overview on the role of inflammation and its mediators in acute ischemic stroke. We discuss various pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory responses in different phases after ischemic stroke and the possible reasons for their failures in clinical trials. Undoubtedly, there is still much to be done in order to translate promising pre-clinical findings into clinical practice. A better understanding of the dynamic balance between pro- and anti-inflammatory responses and identifying the discrepancies between pre-clinical studies and clinical trials may serve as a basis for designing effective therapies.

                Author and article information

                Biomed Res Int
                Biomed Res Int
                BioMed Research International
                Hindawi Publishing Corporation
                25 June 2014
                : 2014
                1National Primate Research Center (NPRC), Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology (KRIBB), Ochang 363-883, Republic of Korea
                2Medical Research Institute, Chung-Ang University College of Medicine, Seoul 156-756, Republic of Korea
                Author notes
                *Kyu-Tae Chang: changkt@ 123456kribb.re.kr and

                Academic Editor: Amit K. Srivastava

                Copyright © 2014 Youngjeon Lee et al.

                This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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