Journal of neurotrauma

The effects of repeat traumatic brain injury on the pituitary in adolescent rats.

PMID 23862570


Adolescents are one of the highest groups at risk for sustaining both traumatic brain injury (TBI) and repeat TBI (RTBI). Consequences of endocrine dysfunction following TBI have been routinely explored in adults, but studies in adolescents are limited, and show an incidence rate of endocrine dysfunction in 16-61% in patients, 1-5 years after injury. Similar to in adults, the most commonly affected axis is growth hormone (GH) and insulin-like growth hormone 1 (IGF-1). Despite TBI being the primary cause of morbidity and mortality among the pediatric population, there are currently no experimental studies specifically addressing the occurrence of pituitary dysfunction in adolescents. The present study investigated whether a sham, single injury or four repeat injuries (24 h interval) delivered to adolescent rats resulted in disruption of the GH/IGF-1 axis. Circulating levels of basal GH and IGF-1 were measured at baseline, 24 h, 72 h, 1 week, and 1 month after injury, and vascular permeability of the pituitary gland was quantified via Evans Blue dye extravasation. Changes in weight and length of animals were measured as a potential consequence of GH and IGF-1 disruption. The results from the current study demonstrate that RTBI results in significant acute and chronic decreases in circulation of GH and IGF-1, reduction in weight gain and growth, and an increase in Evans Blue dye extravasation in the pituitary compared with sham and single injury animals. RTBI causes significant disruption of the GH/IGF-1 axis that may ultimately affect normal cognitive and physical development during adolescence.

Related Materials