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  • Author or Editor: José A. Rafols x
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Tony Wang, David Yu-Te Chou, Jamie Y. Ding, Vance Fredrickson, Changya Peng, Steven Schafer, Murali Guthikonda, Christian Kreipke, José A. Rafols and Yuchuan Ding

Object

Previous studies have demonstrated that traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes brain edema by allowing excessive water passage through aquaporin (AQP) proteins. To establish the potential neuroprotective properties of ethanol as a post-TBI therapy, in the present study the authors determined the effect of ethanol on brain edema, AQP expression, and functional outcomes in a post-TBI setting.

Methods

Adult male Sprague-Dawley rats weighing between 425 and 475 g received a closed head TBI in which Maramarou's impact-acceleration method was used. Animals were given a subsequent intraperitoneal injection of 0.5 g/kg or 1.5 g/kg ethanol at 60 minutes post-TBI and were killed 24 hours after TBI. Brains were subsequently examined for edema along with AQP mRNA and protein expression. Additional animals treated with either 0.5 g/kg or 1.5 g/kg ethanol at 60 minutes post-TBI were designated for cognitive and motor testing for 3 weeks.

Results

Ethanol administration post-TBI led to significantly (p < 0.05) lower levels of brain edema as measured by brain water content. This downregulation in brain edema was associated with significantly (p < 0.05) reduced levels of AQP mRNA and protein expression as compared with TBI without treatment. These findings concur with cognitive studies in which ethanol-treated animals exhibited significantly (p < 0.05) faster radial maze completion times. Motor behavioral testing additionally demonstrated significant (p < 0.05) beneficial effects of ethanol, with treated animals displaying improved motor coordination when compared with untreated animals.

Conclusions

The present findings suggest that acute ethanol administration after a TBI decreases AQP expression, which may lead to reduced cerebral edema. Ethanol-treated animals additionally showed improved cognitive and motor outcomes compared with untreated animals.

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Tetsuhiro Higashida, Christian W. Kreipke, José A. Rafols, Changya Peng, Steven Schafer, Patrick Schafer, Jamie Y. Ding, David Dornbos III, Xiaohua Li, Murali Guthikonda, Noreen F. Rossi and Yuchuan Ding

Object

The present study investigated the role of hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α), aquaporin-4 (AQP-4), and matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) in blood-brain barrier (BBB) permeability alterations and brain edema formation in a rodent traumatic brain injury (TBI) model.

Methods

The brains of adult male Sprague-Dawley rats (400–425 g) were injured using the Marmarou closed-head force impact model. Anti–AQP-4 antibody, minocycline (an inhibitor of MMP-9), or 2-methoxyestradiol (2ME2, an inhibitor of HIF-1α), was administered intravenously 30 minutes after injury. The rats were killed 24 hours after injury and their brains were examined for protein expression, BBB permeability, and brain edema. Expression of HIF-1α, AQP-4, and MMP-9 as well as expression of the vascular basal lamina protein (laminin) and tight junction proteins (zona occludens-1 and occludin) was determined by Western blotting. Blood-brain barrier disruption was assessed by FITC-dextran extravasation, and brain edema was measured by the brain water content.

Results

Significant (p < 0.05) edema and BBB extravasations were observed following TBI induction. Compared with sham-operated controls, the injured animals were found to have significantly (p < 0.05) enhanced expression of HIF-1α, AQP-4, and MMP-9, in addition to reduced amounts (p < 0.05) of laminin and tight junction proteins. Edema was significantly (p < 0.01) decreased after inhibition of AQP-4, MMP-9, or HIF-1α. While BBB permeability was significantly (p < 0.01) ameliorated after inhibition of either HIF-1α or MMP-9, it was not affected following inhibition of AQP-4. Inhibition of MMP reversed the loss of laminin (p < 0.01). Finally, while inhibition of HIF-1α significantly (p < 0.05) suppressed the expression of AQP-4 and MMP-9, such inhibition significantly (p < 0.05) increased the expression of laminin and tight junction proteins.

Conclusions

The data support the notion that HIF-1α plays a role in brain edema formation and BBB disruption via a molecular pathway cascade involving AQP-4 and MMP-9. Pharmacological blockade of this pathway in patients with TBI may provide a novel therapeutic strategy.