Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in complex pathological reactions, the initial lesion worsened by secondary inflammation and edema. Angiotensin II (Ang II) is produced in the brain and Ang II receptor type 1 (AT₁R) overstimulation produces vasoconstriction and inflammation. Ang II receptor blockers (ARBs) are neuroprotective in models of stroke but little is known of their effect when administered in TBI models. We therefore performed controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury on mice to investigate whether the ARB candesartan would mitigate any effects of TBI. We administered candesartan or vehicle to mice 5 h before CCI injury. Candesartan treatment reduced the lesion volume after CCI injury by approximately 50%, decreased the number of dying neurons, lessened the number of activated microglial cells, protected cerebral blood flow (CBF), and reduced the expression of the cytokine TGFβ1 while increasing expression of TGFβ3. Candesartan-treated mice also showed better motor skills on the rotarod 3 days after injury, and improved performance in the Morris water maze 4 weeks after injury. These results indicate that candesartan is neuroprotective, reducing neuronal injury, decreasing lesion volume and microglial activation, protecting CBF and improving functional behavior in a mouse model of TBI. Co-treatment with a peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma (PPARγ) antagonist significantly reduced some of the beneficial effects of candesartan after CCI, suggesting that PPARγ activation may contribute to part or to all of the neuroprotective effect of candesartan. Overall, our data suggest that ARBs with dual AT₁R-blocking and PPARγ activation properties may have therapeutic value in treating TBI.
- Angiotensin II Type 1 Receptor Blockers
- Brain Injuries
- Infusion Pumps, Implantable
- Maze Learning
- Mice, Inbred C57BL
- Motor Skills
- PPAR gamma
- Random Allocation
- Journal Article
- Research Support, N.I.H., Intramural
- Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.