Kollidon VA64 Treatment in Traumatic Brain Injury: Operation Brain Trauma Therapy

Nicole D. Osier, Helen M. Bramlett, Deborah A. Shear, Stefania Mondello, Shaun W. Carlson, W. Dalton Dietrich, Ying Deng-Bryant, Kevin K.W. Wang, Ronald L. Hayes, Zhihui Yang, Philip E. Empey, Samuel M. Poloyac, Audrey D. Lafrenaye, John T. Povlishock, Janice S. Gilsdorf, Patrick M. Kochanek*, C. Edward Dixon

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Loss of plasmalemmal integrity may mediate cell death after traumatic brain injury (TBI). Prior studies in controlled cortical impact (CCI) indicated that the membrane resealing agent Kollidon VA64 improved histopathological and functional outcomes. Kollidon VA64 was therefore selected as the seventh therapy tested by the Operation Brain Trauma Therapy consortium, across three pre-clinical TBI rat models: parasagittal fluid percussion injury (FPI), CCI, and penetrating ballistic-like brain injury (PBBI). In each model, rats were randomized to one of four exposures (7-15/group): (1) sham; (2) TBI+vehicle; (3) TBI+Kollidon VA64 low-dose (0.4 g/kg); and (4) TBI+Kollidon VA64 high-dose (0.8 g/kg). A single intravenous VA64 bolus was given 15 min post-injury. Behavioral, histopathological, and serum biomarker outcomes were assessed over 21 days generating a 22-point scoring matrix per model. In FPI, low-dose VA64 produced zero points across behavior and histopathology. High-dose VA64 worsened motor performance compared with TBI-vehicle, producing -2.5 points. In CCI, low-dose VA64 produced intermediate benefit on beam balance and the Morris water maze (MWM), generating +3.5 points, whereas high-dose VA64 showed no effects on behavior or histopathology. In PBBI, neither dose altered behavior or histopathology. Regarding biomarkers, significant increases in glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels were seen in TBI versus sham at 4 h and 24 h across models. Benefit of low-dose VA64 on GFAP was seen at 24 h only in FPI. Ubiquitin C-terminal hydrolase-L1 (UCH-L1) was increased in TBI compared with vehicle across models at 4 h but not at 24 h, without treatment effects. Overall, low dose VA64 generated +4.5 points (+3.5 in CCI) whereas high dose generated -2.0 points. The modest/inconsistent benefit observed reduced enthusiasm to pursue further testing.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2454-2472
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number17
StatePublished - 1 Sep 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • biomarker
  • consortium
  • controlled cortical impact
  • fluid percussion injury
  • neuroprotection
  • penetrating ballistic-like brain injury
  • rat
  • therapy


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