Macrophage polarization: a key event in the secondary phase of acute spinal cord injury
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CitationKong, Xiangyi, and Jun Gao. 2016. “Macrophage polarization: a key event in the secondary phase of acute spinal cord injury.” Journal of Cellular and Molecular Medicine 21 (5): 941-954. doi:10.1111/jcmm.13034. http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jcmm.13034.
AbstractAbstract Acute spinal cord injury (SCI) has become epidemic in modern society. Despite advances made in the understanding of the pathogenesis and improvements in early recognition and treatment, it remains a devastating event, often producing severe and permanent disability. SCI has two phases: acute and secondary. Although the acute phase is marked by severe local and systemic events such as tissue contusion, ischaemia, haemorrhage and vascular damage, the outcome of SCI are mainly influenced by the secondary phase. SCI causes inflammatory responses through the activation of innate immune responses that contribute to secondary injury, in which polarization‐based macrophage activation is a hallmarker. Macrophages accumulated within the epicentre and the haematoma of the injured spinal cord play a significant role in this inflammation. Depending on their phenotype and activation status, macrophages may initiate secondary injury mechanisms and/or promote CNS regeneration and repair. When it comes to therapies for SCI, very few can be performed in the acute phase. However, as macrophage activation and polarization switch are exquisitely sensitive to changes in microenvironment, some trials have been conducted to modulate macrophage polarization towards benefiting the recovery of SCI. Given this, it is important to understand how macrophages and SCI interrelate and interact on a molecular pathophysiological level. This review provides a comprehensive overview of the immuno‐pathophysiological features of acute SCI mainly from the following perspectives: (i) the overview of the pathophysiology of acute SCI, (ii) the roles of macrophage, especially its polarization switch in acute SCI, and (iii) newly developed neuroprotective therapies modulating macrophage polarization in acute SCI.
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