In several experimental studies of cerebral ischaemia, G-CSF (granulocyte colony-stimulating factor) exerted neuroprotective effects through different mechanisms, including mobilization of haemopoietic stem cells, anti-apoptosis, neuronal differentiation, angiogenesis and anti-inflammation. Hence, G-CSF not only inhibits neuron death, but also generates ‘new’ neural tissue formation. A small pilot trial reports on the safety and feasibility of G-CSF therapy in stroke patients. According to this evidence, we can speculate that G-CSF, being used either alone or in combination with another agent, should have a dual activity beneficial both to acute neuronal protection and long-term plasticity after cerebral ischaemia, thus proposing that G-CSF is an ideal new drug for stroke and neurodegenerative diseases.

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