Stochastic fluctuations in gene expression in aging hippocampal neurons could be exacerbated by traumatic brain injury

Joseph Shearer, Deborah Boone, Harris Weisz, Kristofer Jennings, Tatsuo Uchida, Margaret Parsley, Douglas Dewitt, Donald Prough, Helen Hellmich

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

1 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a risk factor for age-related dementia and development of neurodegenerative disorders such as Alzheimer’s disease that are associated with cognitive decline. The exact mechanism for this risk is unknown but we hypothesized that TBI is exacerbating age-related changes in gene expression. Here, we present evidence in an animal model that experimental TBI increases age-related stochastic gene expression. We compared the variability in expression of several genes associated with cell survival or death, among three groups of laser capture microdissected hippocampal neurons from aging rat brains. TBI increased stochastic fluctuations in gene expression in both dying and surviving neurons compared to the naïve neurons. Increases in random, stochastic fluctuations in prosurvival or prodeath gene expression could potentially alter cell survival or cell death pathways in aging neurons after TBI which may lead to age-related cognitive decline.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)363-367
Number of pages5
JournalAging clinical and experimental research
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2016



  • Aging
  • Hippocampus
  • Laser capture microdissection
  • Stochastic gene expression
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aging
  • Geriatrics and Gerontology

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