Inflammatory mediators of cerebral endothelium: a role in ischemic brain inflammation

Brain Pathol. 2000 Jan;10(1):113-26. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3639.2000.tb00248.x.


Brain inflammation has been implicated in the development of brain edema and secondary brain damage in ischemia and trauma. Adhesion molecules, cytokines and leukocyte chemoattractants released/presented at the site of blood-brain barrier (BBB) play an important role in mobilizing peripheral inflammatory cells into the brain. Cerebral endothelial cells (CEC) are actively engaged in processes of microvascular stasis and leukocyte infiltration by producing a plethora of pro-inflammatory mediators. When challenged by external stimuli including cytokines and hypoxia, CEC have been shown to release/express various products of arachidonic acid cascade with both vasoactive and pro-inflammatory properties, including prostaglandins, leukotrienes, and platelet-activating factor (PAF). These metabolites induce platelet and neutrophil activation and adhesion, changes in local cerebral blood flow and blood rheology, and increases in BBB permeability. Ischemic CEC have also been shown to express and release bioactive inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, including IL-1beta, IL-8 and MCP-1. Many of these mediators and ischemia in vitro and in vivo have been shown to up-regulate the expression of both selectin and Ig-families of adhesion molecules in CEC and to facilitate leukocyte adhesion and transmigration into the brain. Collectively, these studies demonstrate a pivotal role of CEC in initiating and regulating inflammatory responses in cerebral ischemia.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain / physiopathology*
  • Cerebrovascular Circulation / physiology
  • Encephalitis / physiopathology*
  • Endothelium, Vascular / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Hypoxia-Ischemia, Brain / physiopathology*
  • Inflammation Mediators / metabolism*


  • Inflammation Mediators