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Med Hypotheses. 2014 Feb;82(2):151-8. doi: 10.1016/j.mehy.2013.11.024. Epub 2013 Dec 1.

Neuroinflammation in ischemic brain injury as an adaptive process.

Author information

1
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Otago, P.O. Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand.
2
Department of Pharmacology and Toxicology, School of Medical Sciences, University of Otago, P.O. Box 913, Dunedin, New Zealand. Electronic address: john.ashton@otago.ac.nz.

Abstract

Cerebral ischaemia triggers various physiological processes, some of which have been considered deleterious and others beneficial. These processes have been characterized in one influential model as being part of a transition from injury to repair processes. We argue that another important distinction is between dysregulated and regulated processes. Although intervening in the course of dysregulated processes may be neuroprotective, this is unlikely to be true for regulated processes. This is because from an evolutionary perspective, regulated complex processes that are conserved across many species are likely to be adaptive and provide a survival advantage. We argue that the neuroinflammatory cascade is an adaptive process in this sense, and contrast this with a currently popular theory which we term the maladaptive immune response theory. We review the evidence from clinical and preclinical pharmacology with respect to this theory, and deduced that the evidence is inconclusive at best, and probably falsifies the theory. We argue that this is why there are no anti-inflammatory treatments for cerebral ischaemia, despite 30 years of seemingly promising preclinical results. We therefore propose an opposing theory, which we call the adaptive immune response hypothesis.

PMID:
24345344
DOI:
10.1016/j.mehy.2013.11.024
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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