Molecular signals for glial activation: pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines in the injured brain

Acta Neurochir Suppl. 1999;73:21-30. doi: 10.1007/978-3-7091-6391-7_4.


Injury to the central nervous system leads to cellular changes not only in the affected neurons but also in adjacent glial cells. This neuroglial activation is a consistent feature in almost all forms of brain pathology and appears to reflect an evolutionarily-conserved program which plays an important role for the repair of the injured nervous system. Recent work in mice that are genetically-deficient for different cytokines (M-CSF, IL-6, TNF-alpha, TGF-beta 1) has begun to shed light on the molecular signals that regulate this cellular response. Here, the availability of cytokine-deficient animals with reduced or abolished neuroglial activation provides a direct approach to determine the function of the different components of the cellular response leading to repair and regeneration following neural trauma.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Astrocytes / physiology
  • Brain / metabolism*
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism*
  • Cytokines / metabolism*
  • Humans
  • Neuroglia / physiology*
  • Signal Transduction / physiology*


  • Cytokines