Inflammatory Mechanisms Associated with Skeletal Muscle Sequelae after Stroke: Role of Physical Exercise
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Inflammatory markers are increased systematically and locally (e.g., skeletal muscle) in stroke patients. Besides being associated with cardiovascular risk factors, proinflammatory cytokines seem to play a key role in muscle atrophy by regulating the pathways involved in this condition. As such, they may cause severe decrease in muscle strength and power, as well as impairment in cardiorespiratory fitness. On the other hand, physical exercise (PE) has been widely suggested as a powerful tool for treating stroke patients, since PE is able to regenerate, even if partially, physical and cognitive functions. However, the mechanisms underlying the beneficial effects of physical exercise in poststroke patients remain poorly understood. Thus, in this study we analyze the candidate mechanisms associated with muscle atrophy in stroke patients, as well as the modulatory effect of inflammation in this condition. Later, we suggest the two strongest anti-inflammatory candidate mechanisms, myokines and the cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, which may be activated by physical exercise and may contribute to a decrease in proinflammatory markers of poststroke patients.