Emerging evidence, mainly derived from experimental studies, suggests that cytokines may play key roles in influencing the severity and evolution of acute tissue damage in response to ischemic and traumatic brain injury. Most convincing evidence has accumulated for IL-1, implicating the actions of this cytokine as detrimental to outcome after injury. In addition to their role in acute damage, there is growing interest regarding the involvement of cytokines in the postacute phase, notably in the resolution of acute inflammation and their impact on brain tissue repair and long-term functional recovery. The involvement of cytokines in chronic neurodegenerative disorders is also an area of expanding investigation in light of the discovery of cytokine gene polymorphisms which confer increased risk of developing Alzheimer's disease. Further studies will be required to clarify the mechanisms by which cytokines can modulate the response to acute brain injury. It is conceivable that such studies may reveal novel targets for intervention that may prove useful in ameliorating the damaging effects of inflammation in the injured or diseased brain. This chapter will endeavor to provide an overview of the studies that have been integral to elucidating the putative involvement of cytokines in non-immune brain injury and disease.
|Title of host publication||Psychoneuroimmunology (Fourth Edition)|
|Place of Publication||Burlington|
|Number of pages||13|
|Publication status||Published - 2007|