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Special Issue "Cellular and Molecular Mechanisms of Traumatic Brain Injury and Concussion"

A special issue of International Journal of Molecular Sciences (ISSN 1422-0067). This special issue belongs to the section "Molecular Neurobiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 20 June 2021.

Special Issue Editor

Dr. Changiz Taghibiglou
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Anatomy, Physiology, Pharmacology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, Canada
Interests: concussion; traumatic brain injury; stroke; biomarkers; excitotoxicity; lipid rafts; srebps; neurodegenrative diseases

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Traumatic brain injury (TBI)/concussion is usually the result of an external force causing rapid acceleration and/or decelerations of the head, leading to the disruption of normal brain functions. TBI is a growing epidemic throughout the world and is considered a leading cause of disability and mortality, particularly among those younger than 45. More than 69 million individuals suffer from TBI worldwide annually. The leading causes of TBI include vehicle accidents, falls, assaults, sports-related injuries, and injuries sustained during military operations. There are two phases of injuries in TBI: the primary phase (instantaneous insult/injury) caused by the external forces; and the secondary phase (delayed or functional injury) sustained by molecular injuries which add more complexity and unpredictability/variability for short- and long-term patient management and treatment. 

A wide variety of cellular and molecular mechanisms have been identified contributing to the pathogenesis of TBI. A better understanding of the pathophysiology behind TBI is essential for providing more effective treatment. The majority of neuronal death and loss often occurs in the second phase of TBI. Various detrimental processes, including inflammation, ischemia, free radical formation/oxidative stress, and excitotoxicity, are involved in the overall pathobiology of TBI.

Considering the high occurrence of TBI and its severe short- and long-term health consequences, a better understanding of underlying molecular mechanisms will definitely assist us in finding more effective diagnostic (biomarkers) tools and therapeutic interventions.

Therefore, the focus of this Special Issue of the International Journal of Molecular Sciences (IJMS) is dedicated to research and review articles to cover the latest progress in understanding molecular and cellular mechanisms of traumatic brain injury and concussion, as well as diagnostic, preventive, and therapeutic approaches for TBI.

Dr. Changiz Taghibiglou
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. International Journal of Molecular Sciences is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. There is an Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal. For details about the APC please see here. Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • concussion
  • traumatic brain injury
  • biomarkers
  • excitotoxicity
  • neurodegenrative diseases

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Plasma miR-9-3p and miR-136-3p as Potential Novel Diagnostic Biomarkers for Experimental and Human Mild Traumatic Brain Injury
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(4), 1563; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22041563 - 04 Feb 2021
Viewed by 1594
Abstract
Noninvasive, affordable circulating biomarkers for difficult-to-diagnose mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are an unmet medical need. Although blood microRNA (miRNA) levels are reportedly altered after traumatic brain injury (TBI), their diagnostic potential for mTBI remains inconclusive. We hypothesized that acutely altered plasma miRNAs [...] Read more.
Noninvasive, affordable circulating biomarkers for difficult-to-diagnose mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) are an unmet medical need. Although blood microRNA (miRNA) levels are reportedly altered after traumatic brain injury (TBI), their diagnostic potential for mTBI remains inconclusive. We hypothesized that acutely altered plasma miRNAs could serve as diagnostic biomarkers both in the lateral fluid percussion injury (FPI) model and clinical mTBI. We performed plasma small RNA-sequencing from adult male Sprague–Dawley rats (n = 31) at 2 days post-TBI, followed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR)-based validation of selected candidates. miR-9a-3p, miR-136-3p, and miR-434-3p were identified as the most promising candidates at 2 days after lateral FPI. Digital droplet PCR (ddPCR) revealed 4.2-, 2.8-, and 4.6-fold elevations in miR-9a-3p, miR-136-3p, and miR-434-3p levels (p < 0.01 for all), respectively, distinguishing rats with mTBI from naïve rats with 100% sensitivity and specificity. DdPCR further identified a subpopulation of mTBI patients with plasma miR-9-3p (n = 7/15) and miR-136-3p (n = 5/15) levels higher than one standard deviation above the control mean at <2 days postinjury. In sTBI patients, plasma miR-9-3p levels were 6.5- and 9.2-fold in comparison to the mTBI and control groups, respectively. Thus, plasma miR-9-3p and miR-136-3p were identified as promising biomarker candidates for mTBI requiring further evaluation in a larger patient population. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Repetitive Traumatic Brain Injury Causes Neuroinflammation before Tau Pathology in Adolescent P301S Mice
Int. J. Mol. Sci. 2021, 22(2), 907; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/ijms22020907 - 18 Jan 2021
Viewed by 581
Abstract
Repetitive closed head injury (rCHI) is commonly encountered in young athletes engaged in contact and collision sports. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) including rCHI has been reported to be an important risk factor for several tauopathies in studies of adult humans and animals. However, [...] Read more.
Repetitive closed head injury (rCHI) is commonly encountered in young athletes engaged in contact and collision sports. Traumatic brain injury (TBI) including rCHI has been reported to be an important risk factor for several tauopathies in studies of adult humans and animals. However, the link between rCHI and the progression of tau pathology in adolescents remains to be elucidated. We evaluated whether rCHI can trigger the initial acceleration of pathological tau in adolescent mice and impact the long-term outcomes post-injury. To this end, we subjected adolescent transgenic mice expressing the P301S tau mutation to mild rCHI and assessed tau hyperphosphorylation, tangle formation, markers of neuroinflammation, and behavioral deficits at 40 days post rCHI. We report that rCHI did not accelerate tau pathology and did not worsen behavioral outcomes compared to control mice. However, rCHI induced cortical and hippocampal microgliosis and corpus callosum astrocytosis in P301S mice by 40 days post-injury. In contrast, we did not find significant microgliosis or astrocytosis after rCHI in age-matched WT mice or sham-injured P301S mice. Our data suggest that neuroinflammation precedes the development of Tau pathology in this rCHI model of adolescent repetitive mild TBI. Full article
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