Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a chronic, life threatening injury for which few effective interventions are available. Evidence in animal models suggests un-checked immune activation may contribute to the pathophysiology. Changes in regional density of active brain microglia can be quantified in vivo with positron emission topography (PET) with the relatively selective radiotracer, peripheral benzodiazepine receptor 28 (11 C-PBR28). Phenotypic assessment (activated vs resting) can subsequently be assessed (ex vivo) using morphological techniques. To elucidate the mechanistic contribution of immune cells in due to TBI, we employed a hybrid approach involving both in vivo (11 C-PBR28 PET) and ex vivo (morphology) to elucidate the role of immune cells in a controlled cortical impact (CCI), a rodent model for TBI. Density of activated brain microglia/macrophages was quantified 120 hours after injury using the standardized uptake value (SUV) approach. Ex vivo morphological analysis from specific brain regions using IBA-1 antibodies differentiated ramified (resting) from amoeboid (activated) immune cells. Additional immunostaining of PBRs facilitated co-localization of PBRs with IBA-1 staining to further validate PET data. Injured animals displayed greater PBR28suv when compared to sham animals. Immunohistochemistry demonstrated elevated density of amoeboid microglia/macrophages in the ipsilateral dentate gyrus, corpus callosum, thalami and injury penumbra of injured animals compared to sham animals. PBR co-stained with amoeboid microglia/macrophages in the injury penumbra and not with astrocytes. These data suggest the technologies evaluated may serve as bio-signatures of neuroinflammation following severe brain injury in small animals, potentially enabling in vivo tracking of neuroinflammation following TBI and cellular-based therapies.
- peripheral benzodiazapine receptor
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology