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Proinflammation: a common denominator or initiator of different pathophysiological disease processes

Tobias Esch, George Stefano

Med Sci Monit 2002; 8(5): HY1-9

ID: 420856


Proinflammation is a widespread phenomenon. It has an association withthe stress (patho)physiology and is connected with various diseases. Recently, it has been discussedif proinflammation may represent a common (pre)condition in different disease states. Evidence for acommon proinflammatory pattern in a variety of diseases is analyzed. Proinflammatory (pre)conditionsand immune response patterns serve as a common modality in a number of clinically separate diseases.Here, nitric oxide pathways often play a significant role as well. On molecular basis, proinflammationpotentially illustrates a common denominator and/or an initiator. Like stress, proinflammation seemsto be a crucial autoregulatory concept. It normally serves a positive biological goal: Proinflammatoryactivities, e.g., are initiated to overcome infection or invasion of potentially deleterious biologicalagents (bacteria, viruses, parasites etc.). While fighting invasion, proinflammation usually shortensbiological 'battles' and therefore ameliorates disease-related detrimental or subjectively unpleasingphenomena. However, proinflammation has beneficial and deteriorating capacities and may yet exert detrimentaleffects. This is especially true, when the fine balance between the different immune response pathways,between anti- and proinflammatory mechanisms, can not be kept. This may occur when a challenge becomesoverwhelming or when patterns of a chronic (patho)physiological activity are presented. Thus, proinflammationmay represent a relatively unspecific, overlapping/ analogous state, underlying various clinical diseasemanifestations.

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