Spontaneous epileptiform activity in rat neocortex after controlled cortical impact injury.
ABSTRACT A hallmark of severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the development of post-traumatic epilepsy (PTE). However, the mechanisms underlying PTE remain poorly understood. In this study, we used a controlled cortical impact (CCI) model in rats to examine post-traumatic changes in neocortical excitability. Neocortical slices were prepared from rats at 7-9 days (week 1) and 14-16 days (week 2) after CCI injury. By week 2, we observed a substantial gray matter lesion with a cavity that extended to the hippocampal structure. Fluoro-Jade B staining of slices revealed active neuronal degeneration during weeks 1 and 2. Intracellular and extracellular recordings obtained from layer V revealed evoked and spontaneous epileptiform discharges in neocortices of CCI-injured rats. At week 1, intracellular recordings from pyramidal cells revealed evoked epileptiform firing that was synchronized with population events recorded extracellularly, suggestive of increased excitability. This activity was characterized by bursts of action potentials that were followed by recurrent, repetitive after-discharges. At week 2, both spontaneous and evoked epileptiform firing were recorded in slices from injured rats. The evoked discharges resembled those observed at week 1, but with longer burst durations. Spontaneous activity included prolonged, ictal-like discharges lasting up to 8-10 sec, and briefer interictal-like burst events (<1 sec). These results indicate that during the first 2 weeks following severe CCI injury, there is a progressive development of neocortical hyperexcitability that ultimately leads to spontaneous epileptiform firing, suggesting a rapid epileptogenic process.
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ABSTRACT: Globally, it is estimated that nearly 10 million people sustain severe brain injuries leading to hospitalization and/or death every year. Amongst survivors, traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in a wide variety of physical, emotional and cognitive deficits. The most common cognitive deficit associated with TBI is memory loss, involving impairments in spatial reference and working memory. However, the majority of research thus far has characterized the deficits associated with TBI on either reference or working memory systems separately, without investigating how they interact within a single task. Thus, we examined the effects of TBI on short-term working and long-term reference memory using the radial 8-arm maze (RAM) with a sequence of four baited and four unbaited arms. Subjects were given 10 daily trials for 6 days followed by a memory retrieval test 2 weeks after training. Multiple training trials not only provide robust training, but also test the subjects' ability to frequently update short-term memory while learning the reference rules of the task. Our results show that TBI significantly impaired short-term working memory function on previously acquired spatial information but has little effect on long-term reference memory. Additionally, TBI significantly increased working memory errors during acquisition and reference memory errors during retention testing 2 weeks later. With a longer recovery period after TBI, the robust RAM training mitigated the reference memory deficit in retention but not the short-term working memory deficit during acquisition. These results identify the resiliency and vulnerabilities of short-term working and long-term reference memory to TBI in the context of robust training. The data highlight the role of cognitive training and other behavioral remediation strategies implicated in attenuating deficits associated with TBI.Frontiers in Behavioral Neuroscience 05/2013; 7:38. DOI:10.3389/fnbeh.2013.00038 · 4.16 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can result in the development of posttraumatic epilepsy (PTE). Recently, we reported differential alterations in tonic and phasic GABA(A) receptor (GABA(A)R) currents in hippocampal dentate granule cells 90 days after controlled cortical impact (CCI) (Mtchedlishvili et al., 2010). In the present study, we investigated long-term changes in the protein expression of GABA(A)R α1, α4, γ2, and δ subunits, NMDA (NR2B) and AMPA (GluR1) receptor subunits, and heat shock proteins (HSP70 and HSP90) in the hippocampus of Sprague-Dawley rats evaluated by Western blotting in controls, CCI-injured animals without PTE (CCI group), and CCI-injured animals with PTE (PTE group). No differences were found among all three groups for α1 and α4 subunits. Significant reduction of γ2 protein was observed in the PTE group compared to control. CCI caused a 194% and 127% increase of δ protein in the CCI group compared to control (p<0.0001), and PTE (p<0.0001) groups, respectively. NR2B protein was increased in CCI and PTE groups compared to control (p=0.0001, and p=0.011, respectively). GluR1 protein was significantly decreased in CCI and PTE groups compared to control (p=0.003, and p=0.001, respectively), and in the PTE group compared to the CCI group (p=0.036). HSP70 was increased in CCI and PTE groups compared to control (p=0.014, and p=0.005, respectively); no changes were found in HSP90 expression. These results provide for the first time evidence of long-term alterations of GABA(A) and glutamate receptor subunits and a HSP following CCI.Epilepsy research 03/2011; 95(1-2):20-34. DOI:10.1016/j.eplepsyres.2011.02.008 · 2.19 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death and disability in young adults. Survivors of TBI frequently suffer from long-term personality changes and deficits in cognitive and motor performance, urgently calling for novel pharmacological treatment options. To date, all clinical trials evaluating neuroprotective compounds have failed in demonstrating clinical efficacy in cohorts of severely injured TBI patients. The purpose of the present review is to describe the utility of animal models of TBI for preclinical evaluation of pharmacological compounds. No single animal model can adequately mimic all aspects of human TBI owing to the heterogeneity of clinical TBI. To successfully develop compounds for clinical TBI, a thorough evaluation in several TBI models and injury severities is crucial. Additionally, brain pharmacokinetics and the time window must be carefully evaluated. Although the search for a single-compound, 'silver bullet' therapy is ongoing, a combination of drugs targeting various aspects of neuroprotection, neuroinflammation and regeneration may be needed. In summary, finding drugs and prove clinical efficacy in TBI is a major challenge ahead for the research community and the drug industry. For a successful translation of basic science knowledge to the clinic to occur we believe that a further refinement of animal models and functional outcome methods is important. In the clinical setting, improved patient classification, more homogenous patient cohorts in clinical trials, standardized treatment strategies, improved central nervous system drug delivery systems and monitoring of target drug levels and drug effects is warranted.British Journal of Pharmacology 12/2010; 164(4):1207-29. DOI:10.1111/j.1476-5381.2010.01163.x · 4.99 Impact Factor