Experimental investigations into the effects of traumatic brain injury (TBI) have demonstrated significant alterations in dopaminergic systems. Dopaminergic fibers originating within the substantia nigra and ventral tegmental area (VTA) are important for reward learning, addiction, movement, and behavior. However, little is known about the effect of TBI on substantia nigra and VTA function. Environmental enrichment (EE) has been shown to improve functional outcome after TBI, and a number of studies suggest that it may exert some benefits via dopaminergic signaling. To better understand the role of dopamine in chronic TBI pathophysiology and the effect of EE, we examined the mRNA expression profile within the substantia nigra and VTA at 4 weeks post-injury. Specifically, three comparisons were made: 1) TBI versus sham, 2) sham+EE versus sham+standard (STD) housing, and 3) TBI+EE versus TBI+STD. There were differential expressions of 25, 4, and 40 genes in these comparisons, respectively. Chronic alterations in genes post-injury within the substantia nigra and VTA included genes important for cellular membrane homeostasis and transcription. EE-induced gene alterations after TBI included genes important for signal transduction, in particular calcium signaling pathways, membrane homeostasis, and metabolism. Elucidation of these alterations in gene expression within the substantia nigra and VTA provides new insights into chronic changes in dopamine signaling post-TBI, and the potential role of EE in TBI rehabilitation.
dopamine; EE; microarray; TBI
Central nervous system (CNS) axons recover poorly following injury because of the expression of myelin-derived inhibitors of axonal outgrowth such as Nogo, myelin-associated glycoprotein (MAG), and oligodendrocyte-myelin glycoprotein (OMgp), all of which bind to the Nogo-66 receptor 1 (NgR1). Herein we examine the role of NgR1 in the recovery of motor and cognitive function after traumatic brain injury (TBI) using a controlled cortical impact (CCI) model in NgR1 knockout (KO) and wild-type (WT) mice. Four weeks post-injury, scores on the Novel Object Recognition test were significantly increased in NgR1 KO mice compared with WT mice (p<0.05), but motor behavior test scores did not differ significantly between the two groups. Nissl staining showed that NgR1 KO mice had less brain injury volume 2 weeks after CCI (p<0.05). Histological analysis revealed more doublecortin (DCX+) cells (p<0.01) and more Ki-67+ cells in the contralateral dentate gyrus (DG) (p<0.05) 2 weeks after CCI in NgR1 KO mice than in WT. Furthermore, DCX+ cells still retained their longer processes in KO mice (p<0.01) 4 weeks following trauma. The number of bromodeoxyuridine (BrdU)+ cells did not differ between the two groups at 4 weeks post-trauma, but KO mice had higher numbers of cells that co-stained with NeuN, a marker of mature neurons. Increased transcription of growth-associated protein (GAP)-43 in both the injured and contralateral sides of the hippocampus (both p<0.05) was detected in NgR1 KO mice relative to WT. These data suggest that NgR1 negatively influences plasticity and cognitive recovery after TBI.
cognitive function; locomotor function; Nogo receptors; recovery
We have previously reported that mild fluid percussion injury (FPI) is associated with a heightening of the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis response during the first post-injury weeks. This is the same time period when rehabilitative exercise has been strongly suggested to be ineffective. Here, we explored whether cardiac and temperature autonomic function may also be compromised during this early post-injury period. Following an FPI or sham injury, rats were exercised with forced (fRW) or voluntary (vRW) running wheels on post-injury days 0–4 and 7–11. Results indicated that overall activity levels were decreased and circadian rhythm was affected after FPI. Autonomic disruptions became evident when exercise was introduced, and these disruptions were dependent upon the characteristics of exercise. Elevations in heart rate (HR) and core body temperature (CBT) were observed as a response to vRW and fRW. FPI animals had more pronounced increases in HR as a result of vRW. Likewise, increases in HR were observed with fRW in all animals. A strong stress response has recently been associated with fRW exercise. FPI rats exposed to fRW were more responsive to experimental manipulations and had higher a CBT after the FRW session. The results suggest that subacute exercise, particularly if linked to a strong stress response, may be counterproductive. Here we show that cardiac and temperature autonomic function are compromised during the subacute period following a mild TBI.
adult brain injury; CBT; circadian; corticosterone; exercise; fatigue; HR
Contusion spinal cord injury (SCI) animal models are used to study loss of muscle function and mass. However, parallels to the human condition typically have been confounded by spontaneous recovery observed within the first few post-injury weeks, partly because of free cage activity. We implemented a new rat model combining SCI with cast immobilization (IMM) to more closely reproduce the unloading conditions experienced by SCI patients. Magnetic resonance imaging was used to monitor hindlimb muscles' cross-sectional area (CSA) after SCI, IMM alone, SCI combined with IMM (SCI+IMM), and in controls (CTR) over a period of 21 days. Soleus muscle tetanic force was measured in situ on day 21, and hindlimb muscles were harvested for histology. IMM alone produced a decrease in triceps surae CSA to 63.9±4.9% of baseline values within 14 days. In SCI, CSA decreased to 75.0±10.5% after 7 days, and recovered to 77.9±10.7% by day 21. SCI+IMM showed the greatest amount of atrophy (56.9±9.9% on day 21). In all groups, muscle mass and soleus tetanic force decreased in parallel, such that specific force was maintained. Extensor digitorum longus (EDL) and soleus fiber size decreased in all groups, particularly in SCI+IMM. We observed a significant degree of asymmetry in muscle CSA in SCI but not IMM. This effect increased between day 7 and 21 in SCI, but also in SCI+IMM, suggesting a minor dependence on muscle activity. SCI+IMM offers a clinically relevant model of SCI to investigate the mechanistic basis for skeletal muscle adaptations after SCI and develop therapeutic approaches.
atrophy; immobilization; magnetic resonance imaging; SCI; skeletal muscle
Axon regeneration in the central nervous system is severely hampered, limiting functional recovery. This is in part because of endogenous axon regeneration inhibitors that accumulate at the injury site. Therapeutic targeting of these inhibitors and their receptors may facilitate axon outgrowth and enhance recovery. A rat model of spinal cord contusion injury was used to test the effects of two bacterial enzyme therapies that target independent axon regeneration inhibitors, sialidase (Vibrio cholerae) and chondroitinase ABC (ChABC, Proteus vulgaris). The two enzymes, individually and in combination, were infused for 2 weeks via implanted osmotic pumps to the site of a moderate thoracic spinal cord contusion injury. Sialidase was completely stable, whereas ChABC retained>30% of its activity in vivo over the 2 week infusion period. Immunohistochemistry revealed that infused sialidase acted robustly throughout the spinal cord gray and white matter, whereas ChABC activity was more intense superficially. Sialidase treatment alone resulted in improved behavioral and anatomical outcomes. Rats treated exclusively with sialidase showed significantly increased hindlimb motor function, evidenced by higher Basso Beattie and Bresnahan (BBB) and BBB subscores, and fewer stepping errors on a horizontal ladder. Sialidase-treated rats also had increased serotonergic axons caudal to the injury. ChABC treatment, in contrast, did not enhance functional recovery or alter axon numbers after moderate spinal cord contusion injury, and dampened the response of sialidase in the dual enzyme treatment group. We conclude that sialidase infusion enhanced recovery from spinal cord contusion injury, and that combining sialidase with ChABC failed to improve outcomes.
axon regeneration; chondroitin sulfate; ganglioside; motor behavior; serotonergic axons
There are currently no proven effective treatments that can improve recovery of function in spinal cord injury (SCI) patients. Many therapeutic compounds have shown promise in pre-clinical studies, but clinical trials have been largely unsuccessful. P-glycoprotein (Pgp, Abcb1b) is a drug efflux transporter of the blood–spinal cord barrier that limits spinal cord penetration of blood-borne xenobiotics. Pathological Pgp upregulation in diseases such as cancer causes heightened resistance to a broad variety of therapeutic drugs. Importantly, several drugs that have been evaluated for the treatment of SCI, such as riluzole, are known substrates of Pgp. We therefore examined whether Pgp-mediated pharmacoresistance diminishes delivery of riluzole to the injured spinal cord. Following moderate contusion injury at T10 in male Sprague–Dawley rats, we observed a progressive, spatial spread of increased Pgp expression from 3 days to 10 months post-SCI. Spinal cord uptake of i.p.-delivered riluzole was significantly reduced following SCI in wild type but not Abcb1a-knockout rats, highlighting a critical role for Pgp in mediating drug resistance following SCI. Because inflammation can drive Pgp upregulation, we evaluated the ability of the new generation dual anti-inflammatory drug licofelone to promote spinal cord delivery of riluzole following SCI. We found that licofelone both reduced Pgp expression and enhanced riluzole bioavailability within the lesion site at 72 h post-SCI. This work highlights Pgp-mediated drug resistance as an important obstacle to therapeutic drug delivery for SCI, and suggests licofelone as a novel combinatorial treatment strategy to enhance therapeutic drug delivery to the injured spinal cord.
drug resistance; licofelone; P-glycoprotein; riluzole; SCI
Incomplete cervical lesion is the most common type of human spinal cord injury (SCI) and causes permanent paresis of arm muscles, a phenomenon still incompletely understood in physiopathological and neuroanatomical terms. We performed spinal cord hemisection in adult rats at the caudal part of the segment C6, just rostral to the bulk of triceps brachii motoneurons, and analyzed the forces and kinematics of locomotion up to 4 months postlesion to determine the nature of motor function loss and recovery. A dramatic (50%), immediate and permanent loss of extensor force occurred in the forelimb but not in the hind limb of the injured side, accompanied by elbow and wrist kinematic impairments and early adaptations of whole-body movements that initially compensated the balance but changed continuously over the follow-up period to allow effective locomotion. Overuse of both contralateral legs and ipsilateral hind leg was evidenced since 5 days postlesion. Ipsilateral foreleg deficits resulted mainly from interruption of axons that innervate the spinal cord segments caudal to the lesion, because chronic loss (about 35%) of synapses was detected at C7 while only 14% of triceps braquii motoneurons died, as assessed by synaptophysin immunohistochemistry and retrograde neural tracing, respectively. We also found a large pool of propriospinal neurons projecting from C2–C5 to C7 in normal rats, with topographical features similar to the propriospinal premotoneuronal system of cats and primates. Thus, concurrent axotomy at C6 of brain descending axons and cervical propriospinal axons likely hampered spontaneous recovery of the focal neurological impairments.
cervical propriospinal premotoneuronal system; cervical spinal cord injury; forelimb force, kinematics, triceps brachii
A prospective, multicenter phase I trial was undertaken by the North American Clinical Trials Network (NACTN) to investigate the pharmacokinetics and safety of, as well as obtain pilot data on, the effects of riluzole on neurological outcome in acute spinal cord injury (SCI). Thirty-six patients, with ASIA impairment grades A–C (28 cervical and 8 thoracic) were enrolled at 6 NACTN sites between April 2010 and June 2011. Patients received 50 mg of riluzole PO/NG twice-daily, within 12 h of SCI, for 14 days. Peak and trough plasma concentrations were quantified on days 3 and 14. Peak plasma concentration (Cmax) and systemic exposure to riluzole varied significantly between patients. On the same dose basis, Cmax did not reach levels comparable to those in patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Riluzole plasma levels were significantly higher on day 3 than on day 14, resulting from a lower clearance and a smaller volume of distribution on day 3. Rates of medical complications, adverse events, and progression of neurological status were evaluated by comparison with matched patients in the NACTN SCI Registry. Medical complications in riluzole-treated patients occurred with incidences similar to those in patients in the comparison group. Mild-to-moderate increase in liver enzyme and bilirubin levels were found in 14–70% of patients for different enzymes. Three patients had borderline severe elevations of enzymes. No patient had elevated bilirubin on day 14 of administration of riluzole. There were no serious adverse events related to riluzole and no deaths. The mean motor score of 24 cervical injury riluzole-treated patients gained 31.2 points from admission to 90 days, compared to 15.7 points for 26 registry patients, a 15.5-point difference (p=0.021). Patients with cervical injuries treated with riluzole had more-robust conversions of impairment grades to higher grades than the comparison group.
clinical trial; neuroprotection; riluzole; spinal cord injury
The midbrain median raphe (MR) and dorsal raphe (DR) nuclei were tested for their capacity to regulate recovery from traumatic brain injury (TBI). An implanted, wireless self-powered stimulator delivered intermittent 8-Hz pulse trains for 7 days to the rat's MR or DR, beginning 4–6 h after a moderate parasagittal (right) fluid-percussion injury. MR stimulation was also examined with a higher frequency (24 Hz) or a delayed start (7 days after injury). Controls had sham injuries, inactive stimulators, or both. The stimulation caused no apparent acute responses or adverse long-term changes. In water-maze trials conducted 5 weeks post-injury, early 8-Hz MR and DR stimulation restored the rate of acquisition of reference memory for a hidden platform of fixed location. Short-term spatial working memory, for a variably located hidden platform, was restored only by early 8-Hz MR stimulation. All stimulation protocols reversed injury-induced asymmetry of spontaneous forelimb reaching movements tested 6 weeks post-injury. Post-mortem histological measurement at 8 weeks post-injury revealed volume losses in parietal-occipital cortex and decussating white matter (corpus callosum plus external capsule), but not hippocampus. The cortical losses were significantly reversed by early 8-Hz MR and DR stimulation, the white matter losses by all forms of MR stimulation. The generally most effective protocol, 8-Hz MR stimulation, was tested 3 days post-injury for its acute effect on forebrain cyclic adenosine monophosphate (cAMP), a key trophic signaling molecule. This procedure reversed injury-induced declines of cAMP levels in both cortex and hippocampus. In conclusion, midbrain raphe nuclei can enduringly enhance recovery from early disseminated TBI, possibly in part through increased signaling by cAMP in efferent targets. A neurosurgical treatment for TBI using interim electrical stimulation in raphe repair centers is suggested.
cAMP; deep brain stimulation; forebrain trauma; forelimb reaching; neuroanatomical volume; water maze
Influence of childhood traumatic brain injury (TBI) on cognitive recovery and subsequent development is poorly understood. In this longitudinal study we used cluster analysis to explore acute stage individual profiles of injury age and cognition in 118 children with traumatic brain injury. Repeated measures of cognitive function were conducted at 30 months, indicating recovery, and 10 years post-injury, indicating development. Nine clusters were identified. Recovery was evident in three clusters, two of them with low functioning profiles. Developmental gains occurred for three clusters and an acute profile of higher freedom from distractibility (FFD) and lower processing speed (PS) was related to positive differences. One cluster, average low functioning and especially low verbal comprehension, demonstrated a slower development than peers. This suggests that developmental change after TBI in childhood takes place on a continuum, with both chance of long-term catching up, and risk of poor development. An acute profile of higher FFD and lower PS seemed to reflect injury consequences and were followed by developmental gains. These results challenge previous findings, and warrant further investigation.
childhood; cognition; cluster analysis; follow-up studies; TBI
The guidelines for management of traumatic brain injury (TBI) recommend that high-dose barbiturate therapy may be considered to lower intracranial pressure (ICP) that is refractory to other therapeutic options. Lower doses of barbiturates may be used for sedation of patients with TBI, although there is no mention of this in the published guidelines. The goal of this study was to analyze the use of barbiturates in patients with severe TBI in the European centers where the International Neurotrauma Research Organization introduced guideline-based TBI management and to analyze the effects of barbiturates on ICP, use of vasopressors, and short- and long-term outcome of these patients. Data on 1172 patients with severe TBI were collected in 13 centers located in five European countries. Patients were categorized into three groups based on doses of barbiturates administered during treatment. Univariate and multivariate statistical methods were used to analyze the effects of barbiturates on the outcome of patients.
Fewer than 20% of all patients with severe TBI were given barbiturates overall, and only 6% was given high doses. High-dose barbiturate treatment caused a decrease in ICP in 69% of patients but also caused hemodynamic instability leading to longer periods of mean arterial pressure <70 mm Hg despite increased use of high doses of vasopressors. The adjusted analysis showed no significant effect on outcome on any stage after injury.Thiopental and methohexital were equally effective. Low doses of thiopental and methohexital were used for sedation of patients without side effects. Phenobarbital was probably used for prophylaxis of post-traumatic seizures.
barbiturates; guidelines; intracranial pressure; medication; traumatic brain injury
During the secondary injury period after traumatic brain injury (TBI), depolarization of neurons mediated by voltage-gated sodium channels (VGSCs) leads to cellular abnormalities and neurological dysfunction. Alterations in expression of different α subunits of VGSCs can affect early brain pathology following TBI. This study detected the expression of Nav1.3 mRNA and protein in the rat cortex post-TBI. Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were randomly assigned to sham-TBI, mild-TBI (mTBI), or severe-TBI (sTBI) groups. TBI was induced using a fluid percussion device at magnitudes of 1.5–1.6 atm (mTBI) and 2.9–3.0 atm (sTBI). Nav1.3 mRNA and protein levels in the ipsilateral-injured cortex were examined at 2 h, 12 h, 24 h, and 72 h post-TBI by real-time reverse transcriptase quantitative polymerase chain reaction and Western blot. Brains were collected at 24 h, 72 h, and 7 days post-TBI for TUNEL staining and cell count analysis. Immunofluorescence was performed to localize expression of Nav1.3 protein in the ipsilateral-injured cortex. Expression of Nav1.3 mRNA and protein were significantly upregulated in mTBI and sTBI groups when compared with the sham-TBI group at 2 h and 12 h post-TBI. Nav1.3 mRNA and protein levels in the sTBI group were much higher than in the mTBI group at 12 h post-TBI. TUNEL-positive cell numbers were significantly higher in the sTBI group than in the mTBI at 24 h, 72 h, and 7 days post-TBI. Expression of Nav1.3 was observed predominantly in neurons of the cortex. These findings indicated significant upregulation in the expression of Nav1.3 mRNA and protein in the rat ipsilateral-injured cortex at the very early stage post-TBI, and were also correlated with TBI severity.
Nav1.3; rat; sodium channel; TBI
Lactate has been regarded as a waste product of anaerobic metabolism of glucose. Evidence also suggests, however, that the brain may use lactate as an alternative fuel. Our aim was to determine the extent of lactate uptake from the circulation into the brain after traumatic brain injury (TBI) and to compare it with levels of lactate in the brain extracellular fluid. We recruited 19 patients with diffuse TBI, monitored with cerebral microdialysis and jugular bulb catheters. Serial arteriovenous (AV) concentration differences of glucose and lactate were calculated from arterial and jugular blood samples, providing a measure of net uptake or export by the brain. Microdialysis was used to measure brain extracellular glucose and lactate. In 17/19 patients studied for 5 days post-injury, there were periods of net lactate uptake into the brain, most frequently on day 3 after injury. Brain microdialysate lactate had a median (interquartile range [IQR]) concentration of 2.5 (1.5–3.2) mmol/L during lactate uptake and 2.2 (1.7–3.0) mmol/L during lactate export. Lactate uptake into the brain occurred at a median (IQR) arterial lactate concentration of 1.6 (1.0–2.2) mmol/L. Lactate uptake was associated with significantly higher AV difference in glucose values with a median (IQR) of 0.4 (0.03–0.7) mmol/L during uptake and 0.1 (−0.2–0.3) mmol/L during lactate export (Mann-Whitney U p=0.003). Despite relatively high brain lactate compared with arterial lactate concentrations, the brain appears to up-regulate lactate transport into the brain after TBI. This may serve to satisfy greater demands for energy substrate from the brain after TBI.
metabolism; microdialysis; traumatic brain injury (human)
Death of Central Nervous System (CNS) neurons following traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a complex process arising from a combination of factors, many of which are still unknown. It has been found that inhibition of transient receptor potential (TRP) channels constitutes an effective strategy for preventing death of CNS neurons following TBI. TRP channels are classified into seven related subfamilies, most of which are Ca2+ permeable and involved in many cellular functions, including neuronal cell death. We hypothesized that TRP channels of the TRPC subfamily may be involved in post-TBI pathophysiology and that the compound 5-isopropyl-2-methylphenol (carvacrol), by inhibition of TRP channels, may exert neuroprotective effect after TBI. To test these suppositions, carvacrol was given to mice after TBI and its effect on their functional recovery was followed for several weeks. Our results show that neurological recovery after TBI was significantly enhanced by application of carvacrol. To better define the type of the specific channel involved, the effect of carvacrol on the extent and speed of recovery after TBI was compared among mice lacking TRPC1, TRPC3, or TRPC5, relative to wild type controls. We found that neurological recovery after TBI was significantly enhanced by combining carvacrol with TRPC1 elimination, but not by the absence of TRPC3 or TRPC5, showing a synergistic effect between carvacrol application and TRPC1 elimination. We conclude that TRPC1-sensitive mechanisms are involved in TBI pathology, and that inhibition of this channel by carvacrol enhances recovery and should be considered for further studies in animal models and humans.
head trauma; neuronal cell death; TBI
The primary goal of this study was to compare clinically relevant doses of progesterone and nicotinamide within the same injury model. Progesterone has been shown to reduce edema and inflammation and improve functional outcomes following brain injury. Nicotinamide has also been shown to be an effective neuroprotective agent in a variety of neurological injury models. In the current study, nicotinamide was administered beginning 4 h post-cortical contusion injury (CCI) with a loading dose (75 mg/kg, i.p.) combined with continuous infusion (12 mg/h/kg, s.c.) for 72 h post-injury. Progesterone was administered beginning 4 h post-CCI at a dose of 10 or 20 mg/kg, i.p. every 12 h for 72 h. This resulted in the following groups: Injured-nicotinamide treated, Injured-progesterone-10 treated, Injured-progesterone-20 treated, Injured-vehicle treated, and Sham. Functional recovery was assessed with two spatial memory tasks in the Morris water maze (MWM) the acquisition of a reference memory task and a reversal learning task. Neuropathological assessments were conducted in the cortex and hippocampus. It was found that both progesterone (10 mg/kg) and nicotinamide improved reference memory acquisition and reversal learning in the MWM compared with vehicle treatment. The lower dose of progesterone and nicotinamide also reduced tissue loss in the injured cortex and ipsilateral hippocampus compared with vehicle. The beneficial effects of progesterone appear to be dose dependent with the lower 10 mg/kg dose producing significant effects that were not observed at the higher dose. Direct comparison between nicotinamide and low dose progesterone appears to suggest that both are equally effective. The general findings of this study suggest that both nicotinamide and progesterone produce significant improvements in recovery of function following CCI.
CCI; nicotinamide; progesterone; recovery of function; therapy; traumatic brain injury
Approximately 1,700,000 people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) each year and motor vehicle crashes (MVCs) are a leading cause of hospitalization from TBI. Acute subdural hematoma (SDH) is a common intracranial injury that occurs in MVCs associated with high mortality and morbidity rates. In this study, SDH volume and midline shift have been analyzed in order to better understand occupant injury by correlating them to crash and occupant parameters. Fifty-seven head computed tomography (CT) scans were selected from the Crash Injury Research Engineering Network (CIREN) with Abbreviated Injury Scale (AIS) level 3+ SDH. Semi-automated methods were used to isolate the intracranial volume. SDH and additional occupant intracranial injuries were segmented across axial CT images, providing a total SDH injury volume. SDH volume was correlated to crash parameters and occupant characteristics. Results show a positive correlation between SDH volume and crash severity in near-side and frontal crashes. Additionally, the location of the resulting hemorrhage varied by crash type. Those with greater SDH volumes had significantly lower Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) scores at the crash site in near-side crashes. Age and fracture type were found to be significant contributors to SDH volume. This study is a volumetric analysis of real world brain injuries and known MVC impacts. The results of this study demonstrate a relationship among SDH volume, crash mechanics, and occupant characteristics that provide a better understanding of the injury mechanisms of MVC-associated TBI.
adult brain injury; CIREN; head trauma; radiology; traumatic brain injury
Intracerebral hemorrhage (ICH), the most common form of hemorrhagic stroke, accounts for up to 15% of all strokes. Despite maximal surgical intervention and supportive care, ICH is associated with significant morbidity and mortality, in part due to a lack of viable treatment options. Astrogliosis, a key feature of secondary injury that is characterized by glial proliferation, is a poorly-defined process that may produce both beneficial and detrimental outcomes after brain injury. Using a pre-clinical murine model of collagenase-induced ICH, we demonstrate a delayed upregulation of survivin, a key molecule involved in tumor cell proliferation and survival, by 72 h post-ICH. Notably, this increase in survivin expression was prominent in GFAP-positive astrocytes, but absent in neurons. Survivin was not expressed at detectable levels in the striatum of sham-operated mice. The expression of survivin after ICH was temporally and spatially associated with the expression of proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA), an established marker of cellular proliferation. Moreover, the survivin expression was co-localized in proliferating astrocytes as evidenced by triple-label immunohistochemistry. Finally, shRNA-mediated silencing of survivin expression attenuated PCNA expression and reduced cellular proliferation in human glial cells. Together, these data suggest a potentially novel role for survivin in functionally promoting astrocytic proliferation after ICH.
astrogliosis; Inhibitor of Apoptosis protein family; proliferation; repair; stroke
The influence of breaching the connective sheaths of the donor sural nerve on axonal sprouting into the end-to-side coapted peroneal nerve was examined in the rat. In parallel, the effect of these procedures on the donor nerve was assessed. The sheaths of the donor nerve at the coaptation site were either left completely intact (group A) or they were breached by epineurial sutures (group B), an epineurial window (group C), or a perineurial window (group D). In group A, the compound action potential (CAP) of sensory axons was detected in ∼10% and 40% of the recipient nerves at 4 and 8 weeks, respectively, which was significantly less frequently than in group D at both recovery periods. In addition, the number of myelinated axons in the recipient nerve was significantly larger in group D than in other groups at 4 weeks. At 8 weeks, the number of axons in group A was only ∼15% of the axon numbers in other groups (p<0.05). Focal subepineurial degenerative changes in the donor nerves were only seen after 4 weeks, but not later. The average CAP area and the total number of myelinated axons in the donor nerves were not different among the experimental groups. In conclusion, myelinated sensory axons are able to penetrate the epiperineurium of donor nerves after end-to-side nerve coaption; however, their ingrowth into recipient nerves is significantly enhanced by breaching the epiperineurial sheets at the coaptation site. Breaching does not cause permanent injury to the donor nerve.
end-to-side repair; epiperineurium; myelinated axons; sensory nerve; sprouting
A primary cause of morbidity and mortality following cervical spinal cord injury (SCI) is respiratory compromise, regardless of the level of trauma. In particular, SCI at mid-cervical regions targets degeneration of both descending bulbospinal respiratory axons and cell bodies of phrenic motor neurons, resulting in deficits in the function of the diaphragm, the primary muscle of inspiration. Contusion-type trauma to the cervical spinal cord is one of the most common forms of human SCI; however, few studies have evaluated mid-cervical contusion in animal models or characterized consequent histopathological and functional effects of degeneration of phrenic motor neuron–diaphragm circuitry. We have generated a mouse model of cervical contusion SCI that unilaterally targets both C4 and C5 levels, the location of the phrenic motor neuron pool, and have examined histological and functional outcomes for up to 6 weeks post-injury. We report that phrenic motor neuron loss in cervical spinal cord, phrenic nerve axonal degeneration, and denervation at diaphragm neuromuscular junctions (NMJ) resulted in compromised ipsilateral diaphragm function, as demonstrated by persistent reduction in diaphragm compound muscle action potential amplitudes following phrenic nerve stimulation and abnormalities in spontaneous diaphragm electromyography (EMG) recordings. This injury paradigm is reproducible, does not require ventilatory assistance, and provides proof-of-principle that generation of unilateral cervical contusion is a feasible strategy for modeling diaphragmatic/respiratory deficits in mice. This study and its accompanying analyses pave the way for using transgenic mouse technology to explore the function of specific genes in the pathophysiology of phrenic motor neuron degeneration and respiratory dysfunction following cervical SCI.
cervical; contusion; mice; phrenic motor neuron; SCI
It is well established that a relatively brief exposure to environmental enrichment (EE) enhances motor and cognitive performance after experimental traumatic brain injury (TBI), but it is not known whether the benefits can be sustained after EE is discontinued. To address this important rehabilitation-relevant concern, anesthetized rats received a controlled cortical impact (CCI) or sham injury, and for phase 1 of the experiment were randomly assigned to either 3 weeks of EE or standard (STD) housing. Neurobehavioral outcome was assessed by established motor and cognitive tests on postoperative days 1–5 and 14–18, respectively. Beam-balance and spatial learning were facilitated in the TBI + EE more than the TBI + STD group (p<0.0001). In phase 2 of the experiment, half of the rats in EE were transferred to STD conditions (TBI + EE + STD and sham + EE + STD), and neurobehavior was re-assessed once per month for 6 months. The TBI + EE and TBI + EE + STD groups performed markedly better in the water maze than the TBI + STD group (p<0.0001), and did not differ from one another (p=0.53). These data replicate those of several studies from our laboratory showing that EE enhances recovery after CCI injury, and extend those findings by demonstrating that the cognitive benefits are maintained for at least 6 months post-rehabilitation. The persistent benefits shown with this paradigm provide further support for EE as a pre-clinical model of rehabilitation that can be further explored, either alone or in combination with pharmacotherapies, for optimal neurorehabilitation after TBI.
controlled cortical impact; environmental enrichment; functional recovery; learning and memory; Morris water maze; traumatic brain injury
A peripheral indicator of the presence and magnitude of brain injury has been a sought-after tool by clinicians. We measured neuron-specific enolase (NSE), myelin basic protein (MBP), and S100B, prior to and after scaled cortical impact in immature pigs, to determine if these purported markers increase after injury, correlate with the resulting lesion volume, and if these relationships vary with maturation. Scaled cortical impact resulted in increased lesion volume with increasing age. Concentrations of NSE, but not S100B or MBP, increased after injury in all age groups. The high variability of S100B concentrations prior to injury may have precluded detection of an increase due to injury. Total serum markers were estimated, accounting for the allometric growth of blood volume, and resulted in a positive correlation of both NSE and S100B with lesion volume. Even with allometric scaling of blood volume and a uniform mechanism of injury, NSE had only a fair to poor predictive value. In a clinical setting, where the types of injuries are varied, more investigation is required to yield a panel of serum markers that can reliably predict the extent of injury. Allometric scaling may improve estimation of serum marker release in pediatric populations.
age; biomarkers; controlled cortical impact
Traumatic injury is a common cause of coagulopathy, primarily due to blood loss and hemodilution secondary to fluid resuscitation. Traumatic injury-associated coagulopathy often follows a course of transition from hyper- to hypocoagulable state exemplified in disseminated intravascular coagulation. The incidence of coagulopathy is significantly higher in patients with traumatic brain injury (TBI), especially those with penetrating trauma compared to injury to the trunk and limbs. This occurs despite the fact that patients with isolated TBI bleed less and receive restricted volume load of fluids. TBI-associated coagulopathy is extensively documented to associate with poor clinical outcomes, but its pathophysiology remains poorly understood. Studies in the past have shown that brain tissue is highly enriched in key procoagulant molecules. This review focuses on the biochemical and cellular characteristics of these molecules and pathways that could make brain uniquely procoagulant and prone to coagulopathy. Understanding this unique procoagulant environment will help to identify new therapeutic targets that could reverse a state of coagulopathy with minimal impacts on hemostasis, a critical requirement for neurosurgical treatments of TBI.
coagulopathy; microparticles; tissue factor; traumatic brain injury
Neuropathic pain (NP) after spinal cord injury (SCI) can significantly and negatively affect quality of life and is often refractory to currently available treatments. In order to find more effective therapeutic avenues, it would be helpful to identify the primary underlying pathophysiological mechanisms in each individual. The aim of the present study was to assess the relationship between the presence and severity of NP after SCI and measures of somatosensory function mediated via the dorsal column medial lemniscal (DCML) pathway and the spinothalamic tract (STT). Vibratory, mechanical, thermal, and pain thresholds measured in areas at and below the neurological level of injury (LOI) in persons with SCI and NP (SCI-NP, n=47) and in persons with SCI without NP (SCI-noNP, n=18) were normalized to data obtained from able-bodied pain-free control subjects (A-B, n=30). STT-mediated function at and below the LOI was significantly impaired in both SCI groups compared with A-B controls (p<0.001), but not significantly different between the two SCI groups (NP vs. no-NP). In contrast, the SCI-NP group had significantly greater impairment of DCML-mediated function at the LOI, as reflected by greater vibratory detection deficits (z=−3.89±0.5), compared with the SCI-noNP group (z=−1.95±0.7, p=0.034). Within the SCI-NP group, NP severity was significantly associated with increased thermal sensitivity below the LOI (r=0.50, p=0.038). Our results suggest that both impaired STT and DCML-mediated function are necessary for the development of NP after SCI. However, within the SCI-NP group, greater NP severity was associated with greater sensitivity to thermal stimuli below the LOI. This finding concurs with other studies suggesting that STT damage with some sparing is associated with NP.
NP; pain measurement; pain threshold; sensory thresholds; SCI
Diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is the predominant effect of severe traumatic brain injury and contributes significantly to cognitive deficits. The mechanisms underlying these cognitive deficits are often associated with complex metabolic alterations. However, the relationships between temporospatial alterations in cerebral glucose metabolism and the pathophysiology of DAI-related learning and memory dysfunction are not yet completely understood. We used a small animal positron emission tomography (PET) scanner with 2-[F-18]-fluoro-2-deoxy-D-glucose (18F-FDG) as a molecular probe to evaluate temporospatial glucose metabolism in vulnerable areas of rats with DAI. The Morris water maze (MWM) was used to evaluate the development and progression of learning and memory dysfunction. Compared to the sham-treated group, PET-MRI fusion images showed that glucose metabolism was reduced in animals with DAI. In addition, the standardized uptake value (SUV) of 18F-FDG was significantly decreased in the sensorimotor cortex, hippocampus, corpus callosum, caudate putamen, brain stem, and cerebellum at days 1, 3, and 7 after injury. SUV returned to baseline levels by 30 days after injury. The escape latency of the injured group was significantly increased, and the percentages of distance travelled and time spent in the target quadrant were significantly decreased 1 month after injury. These effects persisted for 3 months. SUVs in the hippocampus at the acute stage were significantly correlated with MWM performance during the recovery stage of DAI. These results demonstrate that microstructural injury-induced hypometabolism in the hippocampus at the acute stage are all significantly correlated with learning and memory dysfunctions during the recovery stage of DAI.
diffuse axonal injury; hippocampus; hypometabolism; learning and memory dysfunction; rat