Characterization of a Novel Rat Model of Penetrating Traumatic Brain Injury
Journal article, 2012
A penetrating traumatic brain injury (pTBI) occurs when an object impacts the head with sufficient force to penetrate the skin, scull and meninges and inflict injury directly to the brain parenchyma. This type of injury has been notoriously difficult to model in small laboratory animals, such as rats or mice. To this end, we have established a novel, non-fatal, model for penetrating brain injury, based on a modified air-rifle that accelerates a pellet, which in turn, impacts a small probe that then causes the injury to the experimental animal’s brain. In the present study, we have focused on the acute phase and characterized the tissue destruction, including the increasing cavity formation, white matter degeneration, hemorrhage, edema and gliosis. We also used a battery of behavioral models to examine the neurological outcome, with the most noteworthy finding being impairment of reference memory function. In conclusion, we have described a number of events taking place after pTBI in our model. We expect this model will prove useful in our efforts to unravel the biological events underlying injury and regeneration after pTBI and possibly serve as a useful animal model in development of novel therapeutic and diagnostic approaches.