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: Penetrating traumatic brain injury (pTBI) has been difficult to model in small laboratory animals, such as rats or mice. Previously, we have established a non-fatal, rat model for pTBI using a modified air-rifle that accelerates a pellet, which hits a small probe that then penetrates the experimental animal's brain. Knockout and transgenic strains of mice offer attractive tools to study biological reactions induced by TBI. Hence, in the present study, we adapted and modified our model to be used with mice. The technical characterization of the impact device included depth and speed of impact, as well as dimensions of the temporary cavity formed in a brain surrogate material after impact. Biologically, we have focused on three distinct levels of severity (mild, moderate, and severe), and characterized the acute phase response to injury in terms of tissue destruction, neural degeneration, and gliosis. Functional outcome was assessed by measuring bodyweight and motor per-formance on rotarod. The results showed that this model is capable of reproducing major morphological and neurological changes of pTBI; as such, we recommend its utilization in research studies aiming to unravel the biological events underlying injury and regeneration after pTBI.Frontiers in Neurology 10/2014;
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ABSTRACT: The consequences of mild traumatic brain injury (TBI) on neuronal functionality are only now being elucidated. We have now examined the changes in sensory encoding in the whisker-recipient barrel cortex and the brain tissue damage in the acute phase (24 hours) after induction of TBI (n=9), with sham controls receiving surgery only (n=5). Injury was induced using the lateral fluid percussion injury (LFPI) method, which causes a mixture of focal and diffuse brain injury. Both population and single cell neuronal responses evoked by both simple and complex whisker stimuli revealed a suppression of activity that decreased with distance from the locus of injury both within a hemisphere and across hemispheres, with a greater extent of hypoactivity in ipsilateral barrel cortex compared to contralateral cortex. This was coupled with an increase in spontaneous output in Layer 5a, but only ipsilateral to the injury site. There was also disruption of axonal integrity in various regions in the ipsilateral, but not contralateral hemisphere. These results complement our previous findings after mild diffuse-only TBI induced by the weight-drop impact acceleration method where, in the same acute post-injury phase we found a similar depth-dependent hypoactivity in sensory cortex. This suggests a common sequelae of events in both diffuse TBI and mixed focal/diffuse TBI in the immediate post-injury period that then evolve over time to produce different long-term functional outcomes.Journal of neurotrauma. 06/2014;
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ABSTRACT: Aberrant ion channel function has been heralded as a main underlying mechanism driving epilepsy and its symptoms. However, it has become increasingly clear that treatment strategies targeting voltage-gated sodium or calcium channels merely mask the symptoms of epilepsy without providing disease-modifying benefits. Ion channel function is likely only one important cog in a highly complex machine. Gross morphological changes, such as reactive sprouting and outgrowth, may also play a role in epileptogenesis. Mechanisms responsible for these changes are not well-understood. Here we investigate the potential involvement of the neurite outgrowth-promoting molecule collapsin response mediator protein 2 (CRMP2). CRMP2 activity, in this respect, is regulated by phosphorylation state, where phosphorylation by a variety of kinases, including glycogen synthase kinase 3 β (GSK3β) renders it inactive. Phosphorylation (inactivation) of CRMP2 was decreased at two distinct phases following traumatic brain injury (TBI). While reduced CRMP2 phosphorylation during the early phase was attributed to the inactivation of GSK3β, the sustained decrease in CRMP2 phosphorylation in the late phase appeared to be independent of GSK3β activity. Instead, the reduction in GSK3β-phosphorylated CRMP2 was attributed to a loss of priming by cyclin-dependent kinase 5 (CDK5), which allows for subsequent phosphorylation by GSK3β. Based on the observation that the proportion of active CRMP2 is increased for up to 4 weeks following TBI, it was hypothesized that it may drive neurite outgrowth, and therefore, circuit reorganization during this time. Therefore, a novel small-molecule tool was used to target CRMP2 in an attempt to determine its importance in mossy fiber sprouting following TBI. In this report, we demonstrate novel differential regulation of CRMP2 phosphorylation by GSK3β and CDK5 following TBI.Frontiers in Cellular Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:135. · 4.47 Impact Factor