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Microglia and Monocyte-Derived Macrophages in Stroke.
Historically, the brain has been considered an immune-privileged organ separated from the peripheral immune system by the blood-brain barrier. However, immune responses do occur in the brain in neurological conditions in which the integrity of the blood-brain barrier is compromised, exposing the brain to peripheral antigens and endogenous danger signals. While most of the associated pathological processes occur in the central nervous system, it is now clear that peripheral immune cells, especially mononuclear phagocytes, that infiltrate into the injury site play a key role in modulating the progression of primary brain injury development. As inflammation is a necessary and critical component for the subsequent injury resolution process, understanding the contribution of mononuclear phagocytes on the regulation of inflammatory responses may provide novel approaches for potential therapies. Furthermore, predisposed comorbid conditions at the time of stroke cause the alteration of stroke-induced immune and inflammatory responses and subsequently influence stroke outcome. In this review, we summarize a role for microglia and monocytes/macrophages in acute ischemic stroke in the context of normal and metabolically compromised conditions.