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      Post-stroke inflammation—target or tool for therapy?

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          Inflammation is currently considered a prime target for the development of new stroke therapies. In the acute phase of ischemic stroke, microglia are activated and then circulating immune cells invade the peri-infarct and infarct core. Resident and infiltrating cells together orchestrate the post-stroke inflammatory response, communicating with each other and the ischemic neurons, through soluble and membrane-bound signaling molecules, including cytokines. Inflammation can be both detrimental and beneficial at particular stages after a stroke. While it can contribute to expansion of the infarct, it is also responsible for infarct resolution, and influences remodeling and repair. Several pre-clinical and clinical proof-of-concept studies have suggested the effectiveness of pharmacological interventions that target inflammation post-stroke. Experimental evidence shows that targeting certain inflammatory cytokines, such as tumor necrosis factor, interleukin (IL)-1, IL-6, and IL-10, holds promise. However, as these cytokines possess non-redundant protective and immunoregulatory functions, their neutralization or augmentation carries a risk of unwanted side effects, and clinical translation is, therefore, challenging. This review summarizes the cell biology of the post-stroke inflammatory response and discusses pharmacological interventions targeting inflammation in the acute phase after a stroke that may be used alone or in combination with recanalization therapies. Development of next-generation immune therapies should ideally aim at selectively neutralizing pathogenic immune signaling, enhancing tissue preservation, promoting neurological recovery and leaving normal function intact.

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          Interleukin-6 is a cytokine not only involved in inflammation and infection responses but also in the regulation of metabolic, regenerative, and neural processes. In classic signaling, interleukin-6 stimulates target cells via a membrane bound interleukin-6 receptor, which upon ligand binding associates with the signaling receptor protein gp130. Gp130 dimerizes, leading to the activation of Janus kinases and subsequent phosphorylation of tyrosine residues within the cytoplasmic portion of gp130. This leads to the engagement of phosphatase Src homology domains containing tyrosin phosphatase-2 (SHP-2) and activation of the ras/raf/Mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase (MAPK) pathway. In addition, signal transducer and activator of transcription factors are recruited, which are phosphorylated, and consequently dimerize whereupon they translocate into the nucleus and activate target genes. Interestingly, only few cells express membrane bound interleukin-6 receptor whereas all cells display gp130 on the cell surface. While cells, which only express gp130, are not responsive to interleukin-6 alone, they can respond to a complex of interleukin-6 bound to a naturally occurring soluble form of the interleukin-6 receptor. Therefore, the generation of soluble form of the interleukin-6 receptor dramatically enlarges the spectrum of interleukin-6 target cells. This process has been named trans-signaling. Here, we review the involvement of both signaling modes in the biology of interleukin-6. It turns out that regenerative or anti-inflammatory activities of interleukin-6 are mediated by classic signaling whereas pro-inflammatory responses of interleukin-6 are rather mediated by trans-signaling. This is important since therapeutic blockade of interleukin-6 by the neutralizing anti-interleukin-6 receptor monoclonal antibody tocilizumab has recently been approved for the treatment of inflammatory diseases. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled: 11th European Symposium on Calcium. 2011 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
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              Biologic basis for interleukin-1 in disease.

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              To understand the role of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-1 (IL-1) in disease, investigators have studied how production of the different members of the IL-1 family is controlled, the various biologic activities of IL-1, the distinct and various functions of the IL-1 receptor (IL-1R) family, and the complexity of intracellular signaling. Mice deficient in IL-1Beta, IL-1Beta converting enzyme, and IL-1R type I have also been studied. Humans have been injected with IL-1 (either IL-1alpha or IL-1beta) for enhancing bone marrow recovery and for cancer treatment. The IL-1-specific receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra) has also been tested in clinical trials. The topics discussed in this review include production and activities of IL-1 and IL-1Ra molecules, the effects of IL-1 on gene expression, functions of cell-bound and soluble IL-1 receptors, the importance of the IL-1R accessory protein, newly discovered signal transduction pathways, naturally occurring cytokines limiting IL-1 production or activity, the effects of blocking cyclooxygenase and nitric oxide, and the outcomes of IL-1 and IL-1 Ra in human trials. Special attention is paid to IL-1beta converting enzyme and programmed cell death. The roles of IL-1 in hematopoiesis, leukemia, atherosclerosis, and growth of solid tumors are also discussed. This is a lengthy review, with 586 citations chosen to illustrate specific areas of interest rather than a compendium of references. At the end of each section, a short commentary summarizes what the author considers established or controversial topics linking the biology of IL-1 to mechanisms of disease.

                Author and article information

                [1 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0728 0170, GRID grid.10825.3e, Department of Neurobiology Research, Institute of Molecular Medicine, , University of Southern Denmark, ; 5000 Odense, Denmark
                [2 ]ISNI 0000 0001 0728 0170, GRID grid.10825.3e, Department of Clinical Research, BRIDGE-Brain Research-Inter-Disciplinary Guided Excellence, , University of Southern Denmark, ; 5000 Odense C, Denmark
                [3 ]ISNI 0000 0004 0512 5013, GRID grid.7143.1, Department of Neurology, , Odense University Hospital, ; 5000 Odense, Denmark
                Acta Neuropathol
                Acta Neuropathol
                Acta Neuropathologica
                Springer Berlin Heidelberg (Berlin/Heidelberg )
                27 November 2018
                27 November 2018
                : 137
                : 5
                : 693-714
                © The Author(s) 2018

                Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

                Funded by: FundRef, Sundhed og Sygdom, Det Frie Forskningsråd;
                Award ID: DFF-4183-00033
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: FundRef, Hørslev-Fonden;
                Funded by: FundRef, Lundbeckfonden;
                Award ID: R54-A5539
                Award ID: R173-2014-955
                Award ID: R67-A6383
                Award ID: R126-A11512
                Award Recipient :
                Funded by: FundRef, Novo Nordisk Fonden;
                Award ID: NNF12OC0002215
                Award Recipient :
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                © Springer-Verlag GmbH Germany, part of Springer Nature 2019


                neuroprotection, cytokines, ischemia, immune therapy, drugs


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