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J Neuroinflammation. 2010 Nov 1;7:74. doi: 10.1186/1742-2094-7-74.

The dual role of the neuroinflammatory response after ischemic stroke: modulatory effects of hypothermia.

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Department of Pharmaceutical Chemistry and Drug Analysis, Research Group Experimental Neuropharmacology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Laarbeeklaan 103, 1090 Brussels, Belgium.


Neuroinflammation is a key element in the ischemic cascade after cerebral ischemia that results in cell damage and death in the subacute phase. However, anti-inflammatory drugs do not improve outcome in clinical settings suggesting that the neuroinflammatory response after an ischemic stroke is not entirely detrimental. This review describes the different key players in neuroinflammation and their possible detrimental and protective effects in stroke. Because of its inhibitory influence on several pathways of the ischemic cascade, hypothermia has been introduced as a promising neuroprotective strategy. This review also discusses the influence of hypothermia on the neuroinflammatory response. We conclude that hypothermia exerts both stimulating and inhibiting effects on different aspects of neuroinflammation and hypothesize that these effects are key to neuroprotection.

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