Prevent complications

Brain Immune Interaction

Given the experimental and clinical evidence that CNS injury-induced immunodepression syndrome (CIDS) fosters post-stroke infection and that infections might worsen stroke outcome, immunomodulatory therapies to reconstitute antimicrobial host immune defenses may provide a new approach to improve stroke outcome.
More information/project description

Research Group Meisel

Project Description

Current stroke guidelines strongly recommend the early antibiotic treatment of post-stroke pneumonia. The clinical signs and symptoms of pneumonia are, however, often inconclusive. A reliable biomarker is urgently needed to identify stroke patients at risk for infections very early and guide physicians in antibiotic treatment. We have identified immune markers which might identify these patients as early as 36 hours after stroke onset. Since post-stroke infections are associated with worsened prognosis, their prevention might improve long-term outcome. Given the experimental and clinical evidence that CNS injury-induced immunodepression syndrome (CIDS) fosters post-stroke infection and that infections might worsen stroke outcome, immunomodulatory therapies to reconstitute antimicrobial host immune defenses may provide a new approach to improve stroke outcome. To reach this goal we characterize several promising treatment strategies such as administration of immunostimulatory cytokines.

After CNS injury, self-epitopes – normally well shielded from the systemic immune system – may become exposed to peripheral immune cells. This leads to an immune response against these “uncovered” epitopes. We provided experimental evidence that ischemic brain injury in the context of post-stroke pneumonia induces CNS antigen-specific immune response. This response can, moreover, be neutralized by preventive antibiotic treatment. This provides an explanation for why infections following stroke may worsen outcome. However, CIDS may also represent an adaptive response that benefits the injured CNS tissue by preventing harmful CNS-directed immune reactions. Growing insight into these mechanisms may allow new immunomodulatory treatment approaches for stroke patients.

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