Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a heterogeneous disease in its origin, neuropathology, and prognosis, with no FDA-approved treatments. The pathology of TBI is complicated and not suffi-ciently understood, which is the reason why more than 30 clinical trials in the past three decades turned out unsuccessful in phase III. The multifaceted pathophysiology of TBI involves a cascade of metabolic and molecular events including inflammation, oxidative stress, excitotoxicity, and mito-chondrial dysfunction. In this study, an open head TBI mouse model, induced by controlled cortical impact (CCI), was used to investigate the chronic protective effects of mitoquinone (MitoQ) administration 30 days post-injury. Neurological functions were assessed with the Garcia neuroscore, pole climbing, grip strength, and adhesive removal tests, whereas cognitive and behavioral functions were assessed using the object recognition, Morris water maze, and forced swim tests. As for molecular effects, immunofluorescence staining was conducted to investigate microgliosis, astrocytosis, neuronal cell count, and axonal integrity. The results show that MitoQ enhanced neurological and cognitive functions 30 days post-injury. MitoQ also decreased the activation of astrocytes and microglia, which was accompanied by improved axonal integrity and neuronal cell count in the cortex. Therefore, we conclude that MitoQ has neuroprotective effects in a moderate open head CCI mouse model by decreasing oxidative stress, neuroinflammation, and axonal injury.
- Moderate traumatic brain injury
- Oxidative stress