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J Inflamm Res. 2013 Aug 20;6:121-8. doi: 10.2147/JIR.S35629.

The role of inflammation and interleukin-1 in acute cerebrovascular disease.

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Manchester Academic Health Sciences Center, Brain Injury Research Group, Clinical Sciences Building, Salford Royal Foundation Trust, Salford, UK.


Acute cerebrovascular disease can affect people at all stages of life, from neonates to the elderly, with devastating consequences. It is responsible for up to 10% of deaths worldwide, is a major cause of disability, and represents an area of real unmet clinical need. Acute cerebrovascular disease is multifactorial with many mechanisms contributing to a complex pathophysiology. One of the major processes worsening disease severity and outcome is inflammation. Pro-inflammatory cytokines of the interleukin (IL)-1 family are now known to drive damaging inflammatory processes in the brain. The aim of this review is to discuss the recent literature describing the role of IL-1 in acute cerebrovascular disease and to provide an update on our current understanding of the mechanisms of IL-1 production. We also discuss the recent literature where the effects of IL-1 have been targeted in animal models, thus reviewing potential future strategies that may limit the devastating effects of acute cerebrovascular disease.


caspase-1; cerebral ischemia; inflammation; interleukin-1; microglia; stroke

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