The inflammatory response after a spinal cord injury (SCI) is a secondary mechanism of damage, this involves alterations at the local and systemic level, and it is mediated by cytokine participation that takes part actively. The excessive inflammatory response causes an autoreactive response that targets against components of the nervous tissue; this response lengthens the inflammatory process initiated during the acute phase. The participation of immune cells in acute phases is characterized by the arrival of neutrophils, macrophages, and microglia, as well as T lymphocytes, which express their peaks on different days post-injury (1st, 3rd, and 11th respectively). The chronic phase of the injury begins 14 days after it occurred, reaching its highest point at 60 days, and can still be detected the following 180 days. One of the outcomes of the inflammatory process and cytokine synthesis is the generation of glial scar. In this chapter, we will review the different cytokine mechanisms involved in the formation of glial scar in acute and chronic phases, as well as the modulating treatments of glial scar.
Part of the book: Cytokines