The role of inflammatory processes in the pathophysiology and treatment of brain and spinal cord trauma

W. D. Dietrich, K. Chatzipanteli, E. Vitarbo, K. Wada, K. Kinoshita

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

71 Scopus citations


Traumatic injury to the brain and spinal cord results in an early inflammatory response that is initiated by the release of proinflammatory cytokines followed by the infiltration and accumulation of polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNLs). The role of the inflammatory cascade on traumatic outcome remains controversial. Pleiotropic cytokines appear to function both protectively and destructively. The induction of cytokines can lead to the expression of the inducible form of nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), which in turn provokes the release of excessive amounts of nitric oxide (NO) that may participate in the pathogenesis of tissue injury. Hypothermia has been reported by various groups to be neuroprotective in brain and spinal cord trauma. We studied the effect of therapeutic hypothermia on cerebral IL-lp concentrations, PMNL accumulation and iNOS activity after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI). Based on current data therapeutic hypothermia may protect in models of traumatic injury by modulating deleterious inflammatory processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)69-74
Number of pages6
JournalActa Neurochirurgica, Supplementum
Issue number89
StatePublished - 2004



  • Hypothermia
  • Interleukin-1 beta (il-1β)
  • Spinal cord injury (SCI)
  • Traumatic brain injury (TBI)

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology
  • Surgery
  • Medicine(all)

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