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.
Keywords: Ischemic stroke, leukocyte recruitment, leukocyte-derived mediators, mechanisms of tissue injury.
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