Bidirectional relationship of mast cells-neurovascular unit communication in neuroinflammation and its involvement in POCD

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Postoperative cognitive dysfunction (POCD) has been hypothesized to be mediated by surgery-induced neuroinflammation, which is also a key element in the pathobiology of neurodegenerative diseases, stroke, and neuropsychiatric disorders. There is extensive communication between the immune system and the central nervous system (CNS). Inflammation resulting from activation of the innate immune system cells in the periphery can impact central nervous system behaviors, such as cognitive performance. Mast cells (MCs), as the“first responders” in the CNS, can initiate, amplify, and prolong other immune and nervous responses upon activation. In addition, MCs and their secreted mediators modulate inflammatory processes in multiple CNS pathologies and can thereby either contribute to neurological damage or confer neuroprotection. Neuroinflammation has been considered to be linked to neurovascular dysfunction in several neurological disorders. This review will provide a brief overview of the bidirectional relationship of MCs-neurovascular unit communication in neuroinflammation and its involvement in POCD, providing a new and unique therapeutic target for the adjuvant treatment of POCD.

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