Neurological research

Small interfering RNA directed against CTMP reduces acute traumatic brain injury in a mouse model by activating Akt.

PMID 24670215


Protein kinase B (PKB/Akt), which is phosphorylated and activated by upstream activators, exerts critical neuroprotective effects by phosphorylating downstream targets after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Studies on the regulation of Akt will be crucial for our understanding of neuronal survival. The goal of this study is to investigate the effects of carboxyl-terminal modulator protein (CTMP) on phosphorylation of Akt and neurological function in a mouse model of TBI. Traumatic brain injury in mice was performed by a controlled cortical impact device. The expression of Akt, phospho-Akt, and CTMP was examined in the injured cortices by immunohistochemistry and Western blot analysis. To determine the effects of CTMP, small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) directed against CTMP were injected in mice with TBI, and the expression of phosphorylated Akt and neurological function were evaluated. Phospho-Akt significantly increased at 4 hours post-TBI in the nucleus (P < 0.01) and remained at high levels until 72 hours after TBI, as shown by Western blot analysis. In the cytosol, the expression of phospho-Akt reached its peak at 4 hours post-TBI, but decreased markedly at 24 hours and maintained below pre-TBI levels until 72 hours post-TBI. Interestingly, the expression of CTMP significantly increased 4 hours after TBI (P < 0.01) and sustained those levels until 72 hours without dramatic changes. Treatment with CTMP siRNA effectively augmented the phosphorylation of Akt and significantly improved the neurological functional recovery up to 28 days post-TBI. We conclude that Akt is phosphorylated and translocated to nucleus after TBI to exert neuroprotective effects. However, CTMP is simultaneously triggered to inhibit the phosphorylation of Akt. Inhibition of CTMP by siRNA improves the recovery of neurological functions after TBI.