Rebekah Mannix, Jacqueline Berglass, Justin Berkner, Philippe Moleus, Jianhua Qiu, Lauren L. Jantzie, William P. Meehan III, Rachel M. Stanley and Shenandoah Robinson
While progesterone has been well studied in experimental models of adult traumatic brain injury (TBI), it has not been evaluated in pediatric models. The study of promising interventions in pediatric TBI is important because children have the highest public health burden of such injuries. Therapies that are beneficial in adults may not necessarily be effective in the pediatric population. The purpose of this study was to evaluate whether progesterone treatment improves outcomes in an experimental model of pediatric TBI.
The authors determined whether progesterone administered after controlled cortical impact (CCI) improves functional and histopathological outcomes in 4-week-old mice. Both male and female mice (58 mice total) were included in this study, as the majority of prior studies have used only male and/or reproductively senescent females. Mice were randomized to treatment with progesterone or vehicle and to CCI injury or sham injury. Motor (wire grip test) and memory (Morris water maze) testing were performed to determine the effect of progesterone on TBI. Lesion volume was also assessed.
Compared with their vehicle-treated counterparts, the progesterone-treated CCI-injured male mice had improved motor performance (p < 0.001). In contrast, progesterone-treated CCI-injured female mice had a worse performance than their vehicle-treated counterparts (p = 0.001). Progesterone treatment had no effect on spatial memory performance or lesion volume in injured male or female mice.
These data suggest a sex-specific effect of progesterone treatment after CCI in adolescent mice and could inform clinical trials in children.
Rebekah Mannix, Jacqueline Berglass, Justin Berkner, Philippe Moleus, Jianhua Qiu, Nick Andrews, Georgia Gunner, Laura Berglass, Lauren L. Jantzie, Shenandoah Robinson and William P. Meehan III
With the recent increasing interest in outcomes after repetitive mild traumatic brain injury (rmTBI; e.g., sports concussions), several models of rmTBI have been established. Characterizing these models in terms of behavioral and histopathological outcomes is vital to assess their clinical translatability. The purpose of this study is to provide an in-depth behavioral and histopathological phenotype of a clinically relevant model of rmTBI.
The authors used a previously published weight-drop model of rmTBI (7 injuries in 9 days) in 2- to 3-month-old mice that produces cognitive deficits without persistent loss of consciousness, seizures, gross structural imaging findings, or microscopic evidence of structural brain damage. Injured and sham-injured (anesthesia only) mice were subjected to a battery of behavioral testing, including tests of balance (rotarod), spatial memory (Morris water maze), anxiety (open field plus maze), and exploratory behavior (hole-board test). After behavioral testing, brains were assessed for histopathological outcomes, including brain volume and microglial and astrocyte immunolabeling.
Compared with sham-injured mice, mice subjected to rmTBI showed increased exploratory behavior and had impaired balance and worse spatial memory that persisted up to 3 months after injury. Long-term behavioral deficits were associated with chronic increased astrocytosis and microgliosis but no volume changes.
The authors demonstrate that their rmTBI model results in a characteristic behavioral phenotype that correlates with the clinical syndrome of concussion and repetitive concussion. This model offers a platform from which to study therapeutic interventions for rmTBI.