Time-Course Evaluation of Brain Regional Mitochondrial Bioenergetics in a Pre-Clinical Model of Severe Penetrating Traumatic Brain Injury

Jignesh D. Pandya*, Lai Yee Leung, Hye M. Hwang, Xiaofang Yang, Ying Deng-Bryant, Deborah A. Shear

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

7 Scopus citations


Mitochondrial dysfunction is a pivotal target for neuroprotection strategies for traumatic brain injury (TBI). However, comprehensive time-course evaluations of mitochondrial dysfunction are lacking in the pre-clinical penetrating TBI (PTBI) model. The current study was designed to characterize temporal responses of mitochondrial dysfunction from 30 min to 2 weeks post-injury after PTBI. Anesthetized adult male rats were subjected to either PTBI or sham craniectomy (n = 6 animals per group × 7 time points). Animals were euthanized at 30 min, 3 h, 6 h, 24 h, 3 days, 7 days, and 14 days post-PTBI, and mitochondria were isolated from the ipsilateral hemisphere of brain regions near the injury core (i.e., frontal cortex [FC] and striatum [ST]) and a more distant region from the injury core (i.e., hippocampus [HIP]). Mitochondrial bioenergetics parameters were measured in real time using the high-throughput procedures of the Seahorse Flux Analyzer (Agilent Technologies, Santa Clara, CA). The post-injury time course of FC + ST showed a biphasic mitochondrial bioenergetics dysfunction response, indicative of reduced adenosine triphosphate synthesis rate and maximal respiratory capacity after PTBI. An initial phase of energy crisis was detected at 30 min (-42%; p < 0.05 vs. sham), which resolved to baseline levels between 3 and 6 h (non-significant vs. sham). This was followed by a second and more robust phase of bioenergetics dysregulation detected at 24 h that remained unresolved out to 14 days post-injury (-55% to-90%; p < 0.05 vs. sham). In contrast, HIP mitochondria showed a delayed onset of mitochondrial dysfunction at 7 days (-74%; p < 0.05 vs. sham) that remained evident out to 14 days (-51%; p < 0.05 vs. sham) post-PTBI. Collectively, PTBI-induced mitochondrial dysfunction responses were time and region specific, evident differentially at the injury core and distant region of PTBI. The current results provide the basis that mitochondrial dysfunction may be targeted differentially based on region specificity post-PTBI. Even more important, these results suggest that therapeutic interventions targeting mitochondrial dysfunction may require extended dosing regimens to achieve clinical efficacy after TBI.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)2323-2334
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number16
StatePublished - 15 Aug 2021
Externally publishedYes


  • TBI therapeutics
  • brain energy metabolism
  • mitochondrial dysfunction
  • penetrating traumatic brain injury (PTBI)
  • seahorse analyzer
  • time course


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