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Systems Neuroprotective Mechanisms in Ischemic Stroke

Shu Q. Liu*

Biomedical Engineering Department, Northwestern University, Evanston, IL 60208-3107, USA.
Corresponding Author: Shu Q. Liu. Email:

Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics 2019, 16(2), 75-85.


Ischemic stroke, although causing brain infarction and neurological deficits, can activate innate neuroprotective mechanisms, including regional mechanisms within the ischemic brain and distant mechanisms from non-ischemic organs such as the liver, spleen, and pancreas, supporting neuronal survival, confining brain infarction, and alleviating neurological deficits. Both regional and distant mechanisms are defined as systems neuroprotective mechanisms. The regional neuroprotective mechanisms involve release and activation of neuroprotective factors such as adenosine and bradykinin, inflammatory responses, expression of growth factors such as nerve growth factors and neurotrophins, and activation and differentiation of resident neural stem cells to neurons and glial cells. The distant neuroprotective mechanisms are implemented by expression and release of endocrine neuroprotective factors such as fibroblast growth factor 21, resistin like molecule γ, and trefoil factor 3 from the liver; brain-derived neurotrophic factor and nerve growth factor from the spleen; and neurotrophin 3 and vascular endothelial growth factor C from the pancreas. Furthermore, ischemic stroke induces mobilization of bone marrow hematopoietic stem cells and endothelial progenitor cells into the circulatory system and brain, contributing to neuroprotection. The regional and distant mechanisms may act in coordination and synergy to protect the ischemic brain from injury and death. This paper addresses these mechanisms and associated signaling networks.


Cite This Article

Liu, S. Q. (2019). Systems Neuroprotective Mechanisms in Ischemic Stroke. Molecular & Cellular Biomechanics, 16(2), 75–85.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License , which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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