Neurocognitive consequences of blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) pose significant concerns for military service members and veterans with the majority of "invisible injury." However, the underlying mechanism of such mild bTBI by low-intensity blast (LIB) exposure for long-term cognitive and mental deficits remains elusive. Our previous studies have shown that mice exposed to LIB result in nanoscale ultrastructural abnormalities in the absence of gross or apparent cellular damage in the brain. Here we tested the hypothesis that glutamatergic hyperexcitability may contribute to long-term learning deficits. Using brain slice electrophysiological recordings, we found an increase in averaged frequencies with a burst pattern of miniature excitatory postsynaptic currents (mEPSCs) in hippocampal CA3 neurons in LIB-exposed mice at 1- and 7-days post injury, which was blocked by a specific NMDA receptor antagonist AP5. In addition, cognitive function assessed at 3-months post LIB exposure by automated home-cage monitoring showed deficits in dynamic patterns of discrimination learning and cognitive flexibility in LIB-exposed mice. Collected hippocampal tissue was further processed for quantitative global-proteomic analysis. Advanced data-independent acquisition for quantitative tandem mass spectrometry analysis identified altered expression of proteins involved in synaptic plasticity and serine protease inhibitors in LIB-exposed mice. Some were correlated with the ability of discrimination learning and cognitive flexibility. These findings show that acute glutamatergic hyperexcitability in the hippocampus induced by LIB may contribute to long-term cognitive dysfunction and protein alterations. Studies using this military-relevant mouse model of mild bTBI provide valuable insights into developing a potential therapeutic strategy to ameliorate hyperexcitability-modulated LIB injuries.
S. Chen et al., "Low-Intensity Blast Induces Acute Glutamatergic Hyperexcitability in Mouse Hippocampus Leading to Long-Term Learning Deficits and Altered Expression of Proteins Involved in Synaptic Plasticity and Serine Protease Inhibitors," Neurobiology of Disease, vol. 165, article no. 105634, Elsevier, Apr 2022.
The definitive version is available at https://doi.org/10.1016/j.nbd.2022.105634
Keywords and Phrases
Chronic cognitive dysfunction; Glutamatergic hyperexcitability; Home-cage monitoring; Label-free proteomic quantitation; Primary open-field blast
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01 Apr 2022