Localization of Fibrinogen in the Vasculo-Astrocyte Interface after Cortical Contusion Injury in Mice.
ABSTRACT: Besides causing neuronal damage, traumatic brain injury (TBI) is involved in memory reduction, which can be a result of alterations in vasculo-neuronal interactions. Inflammation following TBI is involved in elevation of blood content of fibrinogen (Fg), which is known to enhance cerebrovascular permeability, and thus, enhance its deposition in extravascular space. However, the localization of Fg in the extravascular space and its possible interaction with nonvascular cells are not clear. The localization of Fg deposition in the extravascular space was defined in brain samples of mice after cortical contusion injury (CCI) and sham-operation (control) using immunohistochemistry and laser-scanning confocal microscopy. Memory changes were assessed with new object recognition and Y-maze tests. Data showed a greater deposition of Fg in the vascular and astrocyte endfeet interface in mice with CCI than in control animals. This effect was accompanied by enhanced neuronal degeneration and reduction in short-term memory in mice with CCI. Thus, our results suggest that CCI induces increased deposition of Fg in the vasculo-astrocyte interface, and is accompanied by neuronal degeneration, which may result in reduction of short-term memory.
Project description:After traumatic brain injury (TBI), glial cells have both beneficial and deleterious roles in injury progression and recovery. However, few studies have examined the influence of reactive astrocytes in the tripartite synapse following TBI. Here, we have demonstrated that hippocampal synaptic damage caused by controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury in mice results in a switch from neuronal to astrocytic d-serine release. Under nonpathological conditions, d-serine functions as a neurotransmitter and coagonist for NMDA receptors and is involved in mediating synaptic plasticity. The phasic release of neuronal d-serine is important in maintaining synaptic function, and deficiencies lead to reductions in synaptic function and plasticity. Following CCI injury, hippocampal neurons downregulated d-serine levels, while astrocytes enhanced production and release of d-serine. We further determined that this switch in the cellular source of d-serine, together with the release of basal levels of glutamate, contributes to synaptic damage and dysfunction. Astrocyte-specific elimination of the astrocytic d-serine-synthesizing enzyme serine racemase after CCI injury improved synaptic plasticity, brain oscillations, and learning behavior. We conclude that the enhanced tonic release of d-serine from astrocytes after TBI underlies much of the synaptic damage associated with brain injury.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Germacrone (GM) is a terpenoid compound which is reported to have anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. However, its role in treating traumatic brain injury (TBI) remains largely unknown.<h4>Methods</h4>Male C57BL/6 mice were divided into the following groups: control group, TBI group [controlled cortical impact (CCI) model], CCI?+?5?mg/kg GM group, CCI?+?10?mg/kg GM group and CCI?+?20?mg/kg GM group. GM was administered via intraperitoneal injection. The neurological functions (including motor coordination, spatial learning and memory abilities) and brain edema were measured. Nissl staining was used to detect the neuronal apoptosis. Colorimetric assays and enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) kits were used to determine the expression levels of oxidative stress markers including myeloperoxidase (MPO), malondialdehyde (MDA) and superoxide dismutase (SOD), as well as the expressions of inflammatory markers, including tumor necrosis factor ? (TNF-?), interleukin-1? (IL-1?) and interleukin-6 (IL-6). Additionally, protein levels of Nrf2 and p-p65 were detected by Western blot assay.<h4>Results</h4>GM significantly ameliorated motor dysfunction, spatial learning and memory deficits of the mice induced by TBI and it also reduced neuronal apoptosis and microglial activation in a dose-dependent manner. Besides, GM treatment reduced neuroinflammation and oxidative stress compared to those in the CCI group in a dose-dependent manner. Furthermore, GM up-regulated the expression of antioxidant protein Nrf2 and inhibited the expression of inflammatory response protein p-p65.<h4>Conclusions</h4>GM is a promising drug to improve the functional recovery after TBI via repressing neuroinflammation and oxidative stress.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) survivors often suffer from long-lasting cognitive impairment that stems from hippocampal injury. Systemic administration of insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), a polypeptide growth factor known to play vital roles in neuronal survival, has been shown to attenuate posttraumatic cognitive and motor dysfunction. However, its neuroprotective effects in TBI have not been examined. To this end, moderate or severe contusion brain injury was induced in mice with conditional (postnatal) overexpression of IGF-1 using the controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury model. CCI brain injury produces robust reactive astrocytosis in regions of neuronal damage such as the hippocampus. We exploited this regional astrocytosis by linking expression of hIGF-1 to the astrocyte-specific glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) promoter, effectively targeting IGF-1 delivery to vulnerable neurons. Following brain injury, IGF-1Tg mice exhibited a progressive increase in hippocampal IGF-1 levels which was coupled with enhanced hippocampal reactive astrocytosis and significantly greater GFAP levels relative to WT mice. IGF-1 overexpression stimulated Akt phosphorylation and reduced acute (1 and 3d) hippocampal neurodegeneration, culminating in greater neuron survival at 10d after CCI injury. Hippocampal neuroprotection achieved by IGF-1 overexpression was accompanied by improved motor and cognitive function in brain-injured mice. These data provide strong support for the therapeutic efficacy of increased brain levels of IGF-1 in the setting of TBI.
Project description:Damage to the cerebrovascular network is a major contributor to dysfunction in patients suffering from traumatic brain injury (TBI). Vessels are composed of lumen-forming endothelial cells that associate closely with both glial and neuronal units to establish a functional blood-brain barrier (BBB). Under normal physiological conditions, these vascular units play important roles in central nervous system (CNS) homeostasis by delivering oxygen and nutrients while filtering out molecules and cells that could be harmful; however, after TBI this system is disrupted. Here, we describe a novel role for a class of receptors, called dependence receptors, in regulating vessel stability and BBB integrity after CCI injury in mice. Specifically, we identified that EphB3 receptors function as a pro-apoptotic dependence receptor in endothelial cells (ECs) that contributes to increased BBB damage after CCI injury. In the absence of EphB3, we observed increased endothelial cell survival, reduced BBB permeability and enhanced interactions of astrocyte-EC membranes. Interestingly, the brain's response to CCI injury is to reduce EphB3 levels and its ligand ephrinB3; however, the degree and timing of those reductions limit the protective response of the CNS. We conclude that EphB3 is a negative regulator of cell survival and BBB integrity that undermine tissue repair, and represents a protective therapeutic target for TBI patients.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of acquired neurologic disability in children. Erythropoietin (EPO), an anti-apoptotic cytokine, improved cognitive outcome in adult rats after TBI. To our knowledge, EPO has not been studied in a developmental TBI model.We hypothesized that EPO would improve cognitive outcome and increase neuron fraction in the hippocampus in 17-day-old (P17) rat pups after controlled cortical impact (CCI).EPO or vehicle was given at 1, 24, and 48?h after CCI and at post injury day (PID) 7. Cognitive outcome at PID14 was assessed using Novel Object Recognition (NOR). Hippocampal EPO levels, caspase activity, and mRNA levels of the apoptosis factors Bcl2, Bax, Bcl-xL, and Bad were measured during the first 14 days after injury. Neuron fraction and caspase activation in CA1, CA3, and DG were studied at PID2.EPO normalized recognition memory after CCI. EPO blunted the increased hippocampal caspase activity induced by CCI at PID1, but not at PID2. EPO increased neuron fraction in CA3 at PID2. Brain levels of exogenous EPO appeared low relative to endogenous. Timing of EPO administration was associated with temporal changes in hippocampal mRNA levels of EPO and pro-apoptotic factors. Conclusion/Speculation: EPO improved recognition memory, increased regional hippocampal neuron fraction, and decreased caspase activity in P17 rats after CCI. We speculate that EPO improved cognitive outcome in rat pups after CCI as a result of improved neuronal survival via inhibition of caspase-dependent apoptosis early after injury.
Project description:Deficient branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs) are implicated in cognitive dysfunction after traumatic brain injury (TBI). The mechanism remains unknown. BCAAs are catabolized by neuron-specific cytosolic and astrocyte-specific mitochondrial branched-chain aminotransferases (BCATc, BCATm) to generate glutamate and branched-chain keto-acids (BCKAs) that are metabolized by the mitochondrial branched-chain keto-acid dehydrogenase (BCKD) whose activity is regulated by its phosphorylation state. BCKD phosphorylation by BCKD kinase (BCKDK) inactivates BCKD and cause neurocognitive dysfunction, whereas dephosphorylation by specific phosphatase restores BCKD activity. Real-time polymerase chain reaction showed rapidly and significantly decreased BCATc messenger RNA (mRNA) levels, but significantly increased BCATm mRNA level post-CCI (controlled cortical impact). BCKD and BCKDK mRNA decreased significantly immediately after CCI-induced TBI (CCI) in the rat. Phosphorylated BCKD proteins (pBCKD) increased significantly in the ipsilateral-CCI hemisphere. Immunohistochemistry revealed significantly increased pBCKD proteins in ipsilateral astrocytes post-CCI. BCKD protein expression is higher in primarily cultured cortical neurons than in astrocytes, whereas pBCKD protein level is higher in astrocytes than in cortical neurons. Transforming growth factor beta treatment (10??g/mL for 48?h) significantly increased pBCKD protein expression in astrocytes, whereas glutamate treatment (25??M for 24?h) significantly decreased pBCKD protein in neurons. Because increased pBCKD would lead to increased BCKA accumulation, BCKA-mediated astrocyte activation, cell death, and cognitive dysfunction as found in maple syrup urine disease; thus, TBI may potentially induce cognitive deficit through diverting BCAA from glutamate production in neurons to BCKA production in astrocytes through the pBCKD-dependent mechanism.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of acquired neurologic disability in children, yet specific therapies to treat TBI are lacking. Therapies that decrease the inflammatory response and enhance a reparative immune action may decrease oxidative damage and improve outcomes after TBI. Docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) modulates the immune response to injury in many organs. DHA given in the diet before injury decreased rat pup cognitive impairment, oxidative stress and white matter injury in our developmental TBI model using controlled cortical impact (CCI). Little is known about DHA effects on neuroinflammation in the developing brain. Further, it is not known if DHA given after developmental TBI exerts neuroprotective effects. We hypothesized that acute DHA treatment would decrease oxidative stress and improve cognitive outcome, associated with decreased pro-inflammatory activation of microglia, the brain's resident macrophages. METHODS:17-day-old rat pups received intraperitoneal DHA or vehicle after CCI or SHAM surgery followed by DHA diet or continuation of REG diet to create DHACCI, REGCCI, SHAMDHA and SHAMREG groups. We measured brain nitrates/nitrites (NOx) at post injury day (PID) 1 to assess oxidative stress. We tested memory using Novel Object Recognition (NOR) at PID14. At PID 3 and 7, we measured reactivity of microglial activation markers Iba1, CD68 and CD206 and astrocyte marker GFAP in the injured cortex. At PID3, 7 and 30 we measured mRNA levels of inflammation-related genes and transcription factors in flow-sorted brain cells. RESULTS:DHA decreased oxidative stress at PID1 and pro-inflammatory microglial activation at PID3. CCI increased mRNA levels of two interferon regulatory family transcription factors, blunted by DHA, particularly in microglia-enriched cell populations at PID7. CCI increased mRNA levels of genes associated with "pro- " and "anti-" inflammatory activity at PID3, 7 and 30. Most notably within the microglia-enriched population, DHA blunted increased mRNA levels of pro-inflammatory genes at PID 3 and 7 and of anti-inflammatory genes at PID 30. Particularly in microglia, we observed parallel activation of pro-inflammatory and anti-inflammatory genes. DHA improved performance on NOR at PID14 after CCI. CONCLUSIONS:DHA decreased oxidative stress and histologic and mRNA markers of microglial pro-inflammatory activation in rat pup brain acutely after CCI associated with improved short term cognitive function. DHA administration after CCI has neuroprotective effects, which may result in part from modulation of microglial activation toward a less inflammatory profile in the first week after CCI. Future and ongoing studies will focus on phagocytic function and reactive oxygen species production in microglia and macrophages to test functional effects of DHA on neuroinflammation in our model. Given its favorable safety profile in children, DHA is a promising candidate therapy for pediatric TBI.
Project description:For the past 25?years, controlled cortical impact (CCI) has been a useful tool in traumatic brain injury (TBI) research, creating injury patterns that includes primary contusion, neuronal loss, and traumatic axonal damage. However, when CCI was first developed, very little was known on the underlying biomechanics of mild TBI. This paper uses information generated from recent computational models of mild TBI in humans to alter CCI and better reflect the biomechanical conditions of mild TBI. Using a finite element model of CCI in the mouse, we adjusted three primary features of CCI: the speed of the impact to achieve strain rates within the range associated with mild TBI, the shape, and material of the impounder to minimize strain concentrations in the brain, and the impact depth to control the peak deformation that occurred in the cortex and hippocampus. For these modified cortical impact conditions, we observed peak strains and strain rates throughout the brain were significantly reduced and consistent with estimated strains and strain rates observed in human mild TBI. We saw breakdown of the blood-brain barrier but no primary hemorrhage. Moreover, neuronal degeneration, axonal injury, and both astrocytic and microglia reactivity were observed up to 8?days after injury. Significant deficits in rotarod performance appeared early after injury, but we observed no impairment in spatial object recognition or contextual fear conditioning response 5 and 8?days after injury, respectively. Together, these data show that simulating the biomechanical conditions of mild TBI with a modified cortical impact technique produces regions of cellular reactivity and neuronal loss that coincide with only a transient behavioral impairment.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes transient increases and subsequent decreases in brain glucose utilization. The underlying molecular pathways are orchestrated processes and poorly understood. In the current study, we determined temporal changes in cortical and hippocampal expression of genes important for brain glucose/lactate metabolism and the effect of a known neuroprotective drug telmisartan on the expression of these genes after experimental TBI. Adult male C57BL/6J mice (n?=?6/group) underwent sham or unilateral controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury. Their ipsilateral and contralateral cortex and hippocampus were collected 6?h, 1, 3, 7, 14, 21, and 28?days after injury. Expressions of several genes important for brain glucose utilization were determined by qRT-PCR. In results, (1) mRNA levels of three key enzymes in glucose metabolism [hexo kinase (HK) 1, pyruvate kinase, and pyruvate dehydrogenase (PDH)] were all increased 6?h after injury in the contralateral cortex, followed by decreases at subsequent times in the ipsilateral cortex and hippocampus; (2) capillary glucose transporter Glut-1 mRNA increased, while neuronal glucose transporter Glut-3 mRNA decreased, at various times in the ipsilateral cortex and hippocampus; (3) astrocyte lactate transporter MCT-1 mRNA increased, whereas neuronal lactate transporter MCT-2 mRNA decreased in the ipsilateral cortex and hippocampus; (4) HK2 (an isoform of hexokinase) expression increased at all time points in the ipsilateral cortex and hippocampus. GPR81 (lactate receptor) mRNA increased at various time points in the ipsilateral cortex and hippocampus. These temporal alterations in gene expression corresponded closely to the patterns of impaired brain glucose utilization reported in both TBI patients and experimental TBI rodents. The observed changes in hippocampal gene expression were delayed and prolonged, when compared with those in the cortex. The patterns of alterations were specific to different brain regions and exhibited different recovery periods following TBI. Oral administration of telmisartan (1?mg/kg, for 7?days, n?=?10 per group) ameliorated cortical or hippocampal mRNA for Glut-1/3, MCT-1/2 and PDH in CCI mice. These data provide molecular evidence for dynamic alteration of multiple critical factors in brain glucose metabolism post-TBI and can inform further research for treating brain metabolic disorders post-TBI.
Project description:Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a relatively common occurrence following accidents or violence, and often results in long-term cognitive or motor disability. Despite the high health cost associated with this type of injury, presently there are no effective treatments for many neurological symptoms resulting from TBI. This is due in part to our limited understanding of the mechanisms underlying brain dysfunction after injury. In this study, we used the mouse controlled cortical impact (CCI) model to investigate the effects of TBI, and focused on Reelin, an extracellular protein that critically regulates brain development and modulates synaptic activity in the adult brain. We found that Reelin expression decreases in forebrain regions after TBI, and that the number of Reelin-expressing cells decrease specifically in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that plays an important role in learning and memory. We also conducted in vitro experiments using mouse neuronal cultures and discovered that Reelin protects hippocampal neuronal cells from glutamate-induced neurotoxicity, a well-known secondary effect of TBI. Together our findings suggest that the loss of Reelin expression may contribute to neuronal death in the hippocampus after TBI, and raise the possibility that increasing Reelin levels or signaling activity may promote functional recovery.