Background: Stroke is devastating cerebrovascular event which is responsible for 6.7 million deaths each year worldwide. Inflammation plays an important role in the pathophysiology of stroke. Targeting inflammation after stroke is highly actual topic for both experimental and clinical research.Methods: Research articles related to cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway (CHAIP) and stroke were reviewed. The first part of review describes the basic characteristics of inflammatory response after stroke, main components and function of CHAIP. The second part reviews studies focused on CHAIP as a therapeutic target for ischemic and hemorrhagic stroke. Both pharmacological stimulation of α7 nAChR and vagus nerve stimulation after stroke are reviewed. Results: Cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway (CHAIP) is a physiological mechanism by which central nervous system regulates immune response and controls inflammation. Vagus nerve, spleen and α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR) are the main components of CHAIP. Conclusion: Targeting cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway is a promising way of immunomodulation which attenuates inflammation in a complex manner without causing immunosuppression.
Keywords: Cerebral ischemia, cholinergic anti-inflammatory pathway, inflammation, intracerebral hemorrhage, stroke, subarachnoid hemorrhage, Vagus nerve stimulation, α7 nicotinic acetylcholine receptor (α7 nAChR).