Effect of slosh mitigation on histologic markers of traumatic brain injury

Laboratory investigation

Restricted access

Object

Helmets successfully prevent most cranial fractures and skull traumas, but traumatic brain injury (TBI) and concussions continue to occur with frightening frequency despite the widespread use of helmets on the athletic field and battlefield. Protection against such injury is needed. The object of this study was to determine if slosh mitigation reduces neural degeneration, gliosis, and neuroinflammation.

Methods

Two groups of 10 adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were subjected to impact-acceleration TBI. One group of animals was fitted with a collar inducing internal jugular vein (IJV) compression prior to injury, whereas the second group received no such collar prior to injury. All rats were killed 7 days postinjury, and the brains were fixed and embedded in paraffin. Tissue sections were processed and stained for markers of neural degeneration (Fluoro-Jade B), gliosis (glial fibrillary acidic protein), and neuroinflammation (ionized calcium binding adapter molecule 1).

Results

Compared with the controls, animals that had undergone IJV compression had a 48.7%–59.1% reduction in degenerative neurons, a 36.8%–45.7% decrease in reactive astrocytes, and a 44.1%–65.3% reduction in microglial activation.

Conclusions

The authors concluded that IJV compression, a form of slosh mitigation, markedly reduces markers of neurological injury in a common model of TBI. Based on findings in this and other studies, slosh mitigation may have potential for preventing TBI in the clinical population.

Abbreviations used in this paper:DPBS = Dulbecco phosphate-buffered saline; FJB = Fluoro-Jade B; GFAP = glial fibrillary acidic protein; Iba-1 = ionized calcium binding adapter molecule 1; ICP = intracranial pressure; IJV = internal jugular vein; TBI = traumatic brain injury.

Article Information

Address correspondence to: Charles L. Rosen, M.D., Ph.D., Department of Neurosurgery, West Virginia University School of Medicine, One Medical Center Drive, P.O. Box 9183, Health Sciences Center, Morgantown, West Virginia 26506-9183. email: crosen@hsc.wvu.edu.

Please include this information when citing this paper: published online September 21, 2012; DOI: 10.3171/2012.8.JNS12358.

© AANS, except where prohibited by US copyright law.

Headings

Figures

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    Cresyl violet staining illustrated no abnormalities following TBI in control animals (a–h) or IJV compression animals (i–p). Photomicrographs of low power showing views of the cortex (a and i), hippocampus (c and k), striatum (e and m), and cerebellum (g and o) in control and IJV compression animals, respectively. Original magnification ×10. Photomicrographs of high power showing views of the cortex (b and j), hippocampus (d and l), striatum (f and n), and cerebellum (h and p) in control and IJV compression animals, respectively. Original magnification ×20.

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    Hematoxylin and eosin staining showed no abnormalities following TBI in control animals (a–h) or IJV compression animals (i–p). Photomicrographs of low power showing views of the cortex (a and i), hippocampus (c and k), striatum (e and m), and cerebellum (g and o) in control and IJV compression animals, respectively. Original magnification ×10. Photomicrographs of high power showing views of the cortex (b and j), hippocampus (d and l), striatum (f and n), and cerebellum (h and p) in control and IJV compression animals, respectively. Original magnification ×20.

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    Fluoro-Jade B staining showed a significant reduction in degenerating neurons in IJV compression animals (i–p) compared with controls (a–h). Photomicrographs of low power showing views of the cortex (a and i), hippocampus (c and k), striatum (e and m), and cerebellum (g and o) in control and IJV compression animals, respectively. Original magnification ×10. Photomicrographs of high power showing views of cortex (b and j), hippocampus (d and l), striatum (f and n), and cerebellum (h and p) in control and IJV compression animals, respectively. Original magnification ×20. Arrows indicate degenerating neurons.

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    Bar graph demonstrating stereological quantification of degenerating neurons stained with FJB. A significant reduction in neural degeneration was seen in IJV compression animals (light gray bars) at all tissue locations visualized and quantified (p < 0.0001). Dark gray bars represent control animals.

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    Glial fibrillary acidic protein staining showed a significant reduction in reactive astrocytes in IJV compression animals (i–p) compared with controls (a–h). Photomicrographs of low power showing views of cortex (a and i), hippocampus (c and k), striatum (e and m), and cerebellum (g and o) in control and IJV compression animals, respectively. Original magnification ×10. Photomicrographs of high power showing views of cortex (b and j), hippocampus (d and l), striatum (f and n), and cerebellum (h and p) in control and IJV compression animals, respectively. Original magnification ×20. Arrows indicate reactive astrocytes.

  • View in gallery

    Bar graph demonstrating stereological quantification of reactive astrocytes stained with GFAP. A significant reduction in reactive astrocytes was seen in IJV compression animals (light gray bars) at all tissue locations visualized and quantified (p < 0.0001). Dark gray bars represent the control animals.

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    Staining for Iba-1 showed a significant reduction in activated microglia in IJV compression animals (e–h) compared with controls (a–d). Photomicrographs of high power showing views of the cortex (a and e), hippocampus (b and f), striatum (c and g), and cerebellum (d and h) in control and IJV compression animals, respectively. Original magnification ×40.

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    Bar graph demonstrating results of stereological quantification of activated microglia stained with Iba-1. A significant reduction in activated microglia was seen in IJV compression animals (light gray bars) at all tissue locations visualized and quantified (p < 0.0001). Dark gray bars represent the control animals.

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