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Neurotransmitter Systems in a Mild Blast Traumatic Brain Injury Model: Catecholamines and Serotonin.

Journal of neurotrauma (2014-12-20)
Lizan Kawa, Ulf P Arborelius, Takashi Yoshitake, Jan Kehr, Tomas Hökfelt, Mårten Risling, Denes Agoston
ABSTRACT

Exposure to improvised explosive devices can result in a unique form of traumatic brain injury--blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI). At the mild end of the spectrum (mild bTBI [mbTBI]), there are cognitive and mood disturbances. Similar symptoms have been observed in post-traumatic stress disorder caused by exposure to extreme psychological stress without physical injury. A role of the monoaminergic system in mood regulation and stress is well established but its involvement in mbTBI is not well understood. To address this gap, we used a rodent model of mbTBI and detected a decrease in immobility behavior in the forced swim test at 1 d post-exposure, coupled with an increase in climbing behavior, but not after 14 d or later, possibly indicating a transient increase in anxiety-like behavior. Using in situ hybridization, we found elevated messenger ribonucleic acid levels of both tyrosine hydroxylase and tryptophan hydroxylase 2 in the locus coeruleus and the dorsal raphe nucleus, respectively, as early as 2 h post-exposure. High-performance liquid chromatography analysis 1 d post-exposure primarily showed elevated noradrenaline levels in several forebrain regions. Taken together, we report that exposure to mild blast results in transient changes in both anxiety-like behavior and brain region-specific molecular changes, implicating the monoaminergic system in the pathobiology of mbTBI.

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