Dose-dependent neuronal injury after traumatic brain injury

Helen Lee Hellmich, Bridget Capra, Kristine Eidson, Jeanna Garcia, Deborah Kennedy, Tatsuo Uchida, Margaret Parsley, Jeremy Cowart, Douglas S. DeWitt, Donald S. Prough

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The Fluoro-Jade (FJ) stain reliably identifies degenerating neurons after multiple mechanisms of brain injury. We modified the FJ staining protocol to quickly stain frozen hippocampal rat brain sections and to permit systematic counts of stained, injured neurons at 4 and 24 h after mild, moderate or severe fluid percussion traumatic brain injury (TBI). In adjacent sections, laser capture microdissection was used to collect uninjured (FJ negative) CA3 hippocampal neurons to assess the effect of injury severity on mRNA levels of selected genes. Rats were anesthetized, intubated, mechanically ventilated and randomized to sham, mild (1.2 atm), moderate (2.0 atm) or severe (2.3 atm) TBI. Four or 24 h post-TBI, ten frozen sections (10 μm thick, every 15th section) were collected from the hippocampus of each rat, stained with FJ and counterstained with cresyl violet. Fluoro-Jade-positive neurons were counted in hippocampal subfields CA1, CA3 and the dentate gyrus/dentate hilus. At both 4 and 24 h post-TBI, numbers of FJ-positive neurons in all hippocampal regions increased dose-dependently in mildly and moderately injured rats but were not significantly more numerous after severe injury. Although analysis of variance demonstrated no overall difference in expression of mRNA levels for heat shock protein 70, bcl-2, caspase 3, caspase 9 and interleukin-1β in uninjured CA3 neurons at all injury levels, post hoc analysis suggested that TBI induces increases in neuroprotective gene expression that offset concomitant increases in deleterious gene expression.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)144-154
Number of pages11
JournalBrain Research
Issue number2
StatePublished - May 24 2005


  • Fluoro-Jade
  • Gene expression
  • Injured neuron
  • Laser capture microdissection

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience
  • Molecular Biology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Developmental Biology


Dive into the research topics of 'Dose-dependent neuronal injury after traumatic brain injury'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this