Depletion of microglia immediately following traumatic brain injury in the pediatric rat: Implications for cellular and behavioral pathology.

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Summary of "Depletion of microglia immediately following traumatic brain injury in the pediatric rat: Implications for cellular and behavioral pathology."

The inflammatory response is a significant component of the pathophysiology of pediatric traumatic brain injury. High levels of inflammatory mediators have been found in the cerebrospinal fluid of brain-injured children which have been linked to poor prognosis. Targeting aspects of the inflammatory response in the hopes of finding a viable post-injury therapeutic option has gained attention. Microglia are largely responsible for perpetuating the injury-induced inflammatory response but in the developing brain they play beneficial roles in both normal and disease states. Following closed head injury in the neonate rat, depletion of microglia with intracerebral injections of liposomes containing clodronate was associated with an increase in neurodegeneration in the early post-injury period (3 days) relative to those injected with empty liposomes suggestive of a decrease in clearance of dying cells. In sham-injured animals, microglia repopulated the clodrosome-mediated depleted brain regions over a period of 2-4 weeks and exhibited morphology typical of a resting phenotype. In brain-injured animals, the repopulated microglia in clodrosome-injected animals exhibited rod-like and amoeboid morphologies. However, fluoro-Jade B reactivity in these brain regions was more extensive than in empty liposome-injected animals suggesting that the active microglia may be unable to clear dying neurons. This was accompanied by an induction of hyperexcitability in the local cortical circuitry. Depletion of microglia within white matter tracts and the thalamus did not affect the extent of injury-induced traumatic axonal injury. Increased neurodegeneration in the dorsal subiculum was not accompanied by any changes to injury-induced deficits in spatial learning and memory. These data suggest that activation of microglia may be important for removal of dying neurons in the traumatically-injured immature brain.


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This article was published in the following journal.

Name: Experimental neurology
ISSN: 1090-2430


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A form of acquired brain injury which occurs when a sudden trauma causes damage to the brain.

Acute and chronic (see also BRAIN INJURIES, CHRONIC) injuries to the brain, including the cerebral hemispheres, CEREBELLUM, and BRAIN STEM. Clinical manifestations depend on the nature of injury. Diffuse trauma to the brain is frequently associated with DIFFUSE AXONAL INJURY or COMA, POST-TRAUMATIC. Localized injuries may be associated with NEUROBEHAVIORAL MANIFESTATIONS; HEMIPARESIS, or other focal neurologic deficits.

Traumatic injuries to the cranium where the integrity of the skull is not compromised and no bone fragments or other objects penetrate the skull and dura mater. This frequently results in mechanical injury being transmitted to intracranial structures which may produce traumatic brain injuries, hemorrhage, or cranial nerve injury. (From Rowland, Merritt's Textbook of Neurology, 9th ed, p417)

Recurrent seizures causally related to CRANIOCEREBRAL TRAUMA. Seizure onset may be immediate but is typically delayed for several days after the injury and may not occur for up to two years. The majority of seizures have a focal onset that correlates clinically with the site of brain injury. Cerebral cortex injuries caused by a penetrating foreign object (CRANIOCEREBRAL TRAUMA, PENETRATING) are more likely than closed head injuries (HEAD INJURIES, CLOSED) to be associated with epilepsy. Concussive convulsions are nonepileptic phenomena that occur immediately after head injury and are characterized by tonic and clonic movements. (From Rev Neurol 1998 Feb;26(150):256-261; Sports Med 1998 Feb;25(2):131-6)

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