Purpose: In previous studies, collagen based matrices have been implanted into the site of lesion in different models of brain injury. We hypothesized that semisynthetic collagen matrix can have neuroprotective function in the setting of traumatic brain injury. Methods: Rats were subjected to sham injury or controlled cortical impact. They either received extracellular matrix graft (DuraGen) over the injury site or did not receive any graft and underwent beam balance/beam walking test at post injury days 1-5 and Morris water maze at post injury days 14-18. Animals were sacrificed at day 18 for tissue analysis. Results: Collagen matrix implantation in injured rats did not affect motor function (beam balance test: p = 0.627, beam walking test: p = 0.921). However, injured group with collagen matrix had significantly better spatial memory acquisition (p < 0.05). There was a significant reduction in lesion volume, as well as neuronal loss in CA1 (p < 0.001) and CA3 (p < 0.05) regions of the hippocampus in injured group with collagen matrix (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Collagen matrix reduces contusional lesion volume, neuronal loss, and cognitive deficit after traumatic brain injury. Further studies are needed to demonstrate the mechanisms of neuroprotection by collagen matrix.
- traumatic brain injury