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Traumatic brain injury enhances neuroinflammation and lesion volume in caveolin deficient mice



Traumatic brain injury (TBI) enhances pro-inflammatory responses, neuronal loss and long-term behavioral deficits. Caveolins (Cavs) are regulators of neuronal and glial survival signaling. Previously we showed that astrocyte and microglial activation is increased in Cav-1 knock-out (KO) mice and that Cav-1 and Cav-3 modulate microglial morphology. We hypothesized that Cavs may regulate cytokine production after TBI.


Controlled cortical impact (CCI) model of TBI (3 m/second; 1.0 mm depth; parietal cortex) was performed on wild-type (WT; C57Bl/6), Cav-1 KO, and Cav-3 KO mice. Histology and immunofluorescence microscopy (lesion volume, glia activation), behavioral tests (open field, balance beam, wire grip, T-maze), electrophysiology, electron paramagnetic resonance, membrane fractionation, and multiplex assays were performed. Data were analyzed by unpaired t tests or analysis of variance (ANOVA) with post-hoc Bonferroni's multiple comparison.


CCI increased cortical and hippocampal injury and decreased expression of MLR-localized synaptic proteins (24 hours), enhanced NADPH oxidase (Nox) activity (24 hours and 1 week), enhanced polysynaptic responses (1 week), and caused hippocampal-dependent learning deficits (3 months). CCI increased brain lesion volume in both Cav-3 and Cav-1 KO mice after 24 hours (P < 0.0001, n = 4; one-way ANOVA). Multiplex array revealed a significant increase in expression of IL-1β, IL-9, IL-10, KC (keratinocyte chemoattractant), and monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1) in ipsilateral hemisphere and IL-9, IL-10, IL-17, and macrophage inflammatory protein 1 alpha (MIP-1α) in contralateral hemisphere of WT mice after 4 hours. CCI increased IL-2, IL-6, KC and MCP-1 in ipsilateral and IL-6, IL-9, IL-17 and KC in contralateral hemispheres in Cav-1 KO and increased all 10 cytokines/chemokines in both hemispheres except for IL-17 (ipsilateral) and MIP-1α (contralateral) in Cav-3 KO (versus WT CCI). Cav-3 KO CCI showed increased IL-1β, IL-9, KC, MCP-1, MIP-1α, and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor in ipsilateral and IL-1β, IL-2, IL-9, IL-10, and IL-17 in contralateral hemispheres (P = 0.0005, n = 6; two-way ANOVA) compared to Cav-1 KO CCI.


CCI caused astrocyte and microglial activation and hippocampal neuronal injury. Cav-1 and Cav-3 KO exhibited enhanced lesion volume and cytokine/chemokine production after CCI. These findings suggest that Cav isoforms may regulate neuroinflammatory responses and neuroprotection following TBI.

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