Time window for voluntary exercise-induced increases in hippocampal neuroplasticity molecules after traumatic brain injury is severity dependent.
ABSTRACT We recently found that an exercise-induced increase in hippocampal brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) is dependent when exercise is initiated after traumatic brain injury (TBI). When voluntary exercise was delayed by 2 weeks after a mild fluid-percussion injury (FPI) in rats, an increase in BDNF and an improvement in behavioral outcome were observed. This suggests that following FPI there is a therapeutic window for the implementation of voluntary exercise. To determine if more severely injured animals require more time after TBI before voluntary exercise can increase neuroplasticity, adult male rats with a moderate lateral FPI or sham injury were housed with or without access to a running wheel from post-injury-day (PID) 0-6, 14-20 or 30-36. Rats with a mild injury only had access to the running wheel from PID 0-6 or 14-20. Rats were sacrificed at PID 7, 21, or 37. BDNF, synapsin I, and cyclic AMP response element binding protein (CREB) were analyzed within the ipsilateral hippocampus. Whereas BDNF levels significantly increased with exercise in the mild FPI rats that were exercised from PID 14 to 20, the moderate FPI rats only showed significant increases in BDNF when exercised from PID 30 to 36. In addition, moderate FPI rats that were allowed to exercise from PID 30 to 36 also exhibited significant increases in synapsin I and CREB. These results indicate that the time window for exercise-induced increases in BDNF, synapsin I, and CREB is dependent on injury severity.
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ABSTRACT: Background: Moderate-severe traumatic brain injury (TBI) is increasingly being understood as a progressive disorder, with growing evidence of reduced brain volume and white matter (WM) integrity as well as lesion expansion in the chronic phases of injury. The scale of these losses has yet to be investigated, and pattern of change across structures has received limited attention. Objectives: (1) To measure the percentage of patients in our TBI sample showing atrophy from 5 to 20 months post-injury in the whole brain and in structures with known vulnerability to acute TBI, and (2) To examine relative vulnerability and patterns of volume loss across structures. Methods: Fifty-six TBI patients [complicated mild to severe, with mean Glasgow Coma Scale (GCS) in severe range] underwent MRI at, on average, 5 and 20 months post-injury; 12 healthy controls underwent MRI twice, with a mean gap between scans of 25.4 months. Mean monthly percent volume change was computed for whole brain (ventricle-to-brain ratio; VBR), corpus callosum (CC), and right and left hippocampi (HPC). Results: (1) Using a threshold of 2 z-scores below controls, 96% of patients showed atrophy across time points in at least one region; 75% showed atrophy in at least 3 of the 4 regions measured. (2) There were no significant differences in the proportion of patients who showed atrophy across structures. For those showing decline in VBR, there was a significant association with both the CC and the right HPC (P < 0.05 for both comparisons). There were also significant associations between those showing decline in (i) right and left HPC (P < 0.05); (ii) all combinations of genu, body and splenium of the CC (P < 0.05), and (iii) head and tail of the right HPC (P < 0.05 all sub-structure comparisons). Conclusions: Atrophy in chronic TBI is robust, and the CC, right HPC and left HPC appear equally vulnerable. Significant associations between the right and left HPC, and within substructures of the CC and right HPC, raise the possibility of common mechanisms for these regions, including transneuronal degeneration. Given the 96% incidence rate of atrophy, a genetic explanation is unlikely to explain all findings. Multiple and possibly synergistic mechanisms may explain findings. Atrophy has been associated with poorer functional outcomes, but recent findings suggest there is potential to offset this. A better, understanding of the underlying mechanisms could permit targeted therapy enabling better long-term outcomes.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:67. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: The rodent has been the preferred research model for evaluating the mechanisms related to, and potential treatments for, traumatic brain injury (TBI). Many therapies previously determined to be effective in pre-clinical investigations have failed to show the same effectiveness in clinical trials. The environment a rodent is housed in plays an important role in brain and behavioral development. Housing rodents in non-enriched environments significantly alters the development of the rodent brain and its behavioral profile, negatively impacting the ecological validity of the rodent model. This investigation employed 113 male Long-Evans rats assigned to either an enriched environment (EE) or standard environment (SE) from post-natal day 25. At four months of age, rats received either a controlled cortical impact (CCI) to the medial frontal cortex (mFC) or sham injury. Rats assigned to EE or SE pre-injury were re-assigned to remain in, or switch to, EE or SE post-injury. The open-field test (OFT), vermicelli handling test (VHT) Morris water maze (MWM), and rotor-rod (RR), were used to evaluate the animals response to TBI. The data from the current investigation indicates that the performance of TBI rats assigned to pre-injury EE was improved on the MWM compared to the TBI rats assigned to pre-injury SE. However, those that were reared in the EE performed better on the MWM if placed into a SE post-injury as compared to those placed into the EE after insult. The TBI and sham groups that were raised, and remained, in the SE performed worse than any of the EE groups on the RR. TBI rats that were placed in the EE had larger cortices and more cells in the hippocampus than the TBI rats housed in the SE. These data strongly suggest that the pre-injury housing environment should be considered as investigators refine pre-clinical models of TBI.Behavioural brain research. 09/2014;
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ABSTRACT: The process of brain remodeling after stroke is time- and neural activity-dependent, and the latter makes it inherently sensitive to behavioral experiences. This generally supports targeting early dynamic periods of post-stroke neural remodeling with rehabilitative training (RT). However, the specific neural events that optimize RT effects are unclear and, as such, cannot be precisely targeted. Here we review evidence for, potential mechanisms of, and ongoing knowledge gaps surrounding time-sensitivities in RT efficacy, with a focus on findings from animal models of upper extremity RT. The reorganization of neural connectivity after stroke is a complex multiphasic process interacting with glial and vascular changes. Behavioral manipulations can impact numerous elements of this process to affect function. RT efficacy varies both with onset time and its timing relative to the development of compensatory strategies with the less-affected (nonparetic) hand. Earlier RT may not only capitalize on a dynamic period of brain remodeling but also counter a tendency for compensatory strategies to stamp-in suboptimal reorganization patterns. However, there is considerable variability across injuries and individuals in brain remodeling responses, and some early behavioral manipulations worsen function. The optimal timing of RT may remain unpredictable without clarification of the cellular events underlying time-sensitivities in its effects.Frontiers in Human Neuroscience 01/2014; 8:379. · 2.91 Impact Factor