Affiliation: Department of Molecular and Cellular Physiology, Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center, 1501 Kings Hwy, Shreveport, LA, USA.
Ischemic stroke remains a leading cause of death worldwide. While the underlying causes of stroke remain poorly defined, brain inflammation appears to be a characteristic response to the vascular insult and there is growing evidence suggesting a cause-effect relationship between the inflammatory response and stroke-induced brain dysfunction and tissue injury. In this review, we summarize evidence that implicates leukocytes in the pathophysiology of stroke and address some of the mediators that contribute to the recruitment and activation of leukocytes in the post-ischemic brain. The products of leukocyte activation that may account for the deleterious effects of this cell population in stroke is also discussed. Recently tested compounds that afford protection against the neurological deficits and tissue injury induced by stroke are addressed within the context of potential development of novel strategies for stroke treatment.