Experimental diffuse brain injury results in regional alteration of gross vascular morphology independent of neuropathology

Jenna M. Ziebell, Rachel K. Rowe, Jordan L. Harrison, Katharine C. Eakin, Taylor Colburn, F. Anthony Willyerd, Jonathan Lifshitz

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Primary objective: A dynamic relationship exists between diffuse traumatic brain injury and changes to the neurovascular unit. The purpose of this study was to evaluate vascular changes during the first week following diffuse TBI. It was hypothesized that pathology is associated with modification of the vasculature.Methods: Male Sprague-Dawley rats underwent either midline fluid percussion injury or sham-injury. Brain tissue was collected 1, 2 or 7 days post-injury or sham-injury (n = 3/time point). Tissue was collected and stained by de Olmos amino-cupric silver technique to visualize neuropathology or animals were perfused with AltaBlue casting resin before high-resolution vascular imaging. The average volume, surface area, radius, branching and tortuosity of the vessels were evaluated across three regions of interest.Results: In M2, average vessel volume (p < 0.01) and surface area (p < 0.05) were significantly larger at 1 day relative to 2 days, 7 days and sham. In S1BF and VPM, no significant differences in the average vessel volume or surface area at any of the post-injury time points were observed. No significant changes in average radius, branching or tortuosity were observed.Conclusions: Preliminary findings suggest gross morphological changes within the vascular network likely represent an acute response to mechanical forces of injury, rather than delayed or chronic pathological processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)217-224
Number of pages8
JournalBrain Injury
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 28 2016


  • Neurovascular unit
  • midline fluid percussion
  • neuropathology
  • traumatic brain injury
  • vascular casting

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience (miscellaneous)
  • Developmental and Educational Psychology
  • Clinical Neurology


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