Inbred mouse strains as a tool to analyze hippocampal neuronal loss after brain injury: A stereological study

Brent M. Witgen, Jonathan Lifshitz, M. Sean Grady

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

22 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) damages the hippocampus both in experimental animal models and in humans. In particular, the mechanical injury in combination with the genetic susceptibility to injury may result in neuronal loss from the hippocampus. This report explores the time-course of neuronal loss in the four primary subregions of the mouse hippocampus after a lateral fluid percussion injury (FPI) to the brain, and how subtle genetic differences between C57BL/6J and C57BL/10J mouse strains influence the extent and time course of neuronal loss. Using design-based stereological procedures, our results indicate negligible neuronal loss ipsilateral to the injury at 2 days post-injury in C57BL/6J mice, whereas a significant number (30-40%) of neurons are lost across all sub-regions of the hippocampus (dentate, hilus, area CA3, and area CAl) by 1 week, which does not appear to progress at 1 month, compared to sham. Additionally, neuronal counts after lateral FPI in a genetically similar, yet kainic acid-sensitive, mouse strain (C57BL/10J) showed no statistically significant differences in neuron number compared to the C57BL/6J strain in response to brain injury. Hippocampal neuronal loss after lateral FPI and its consequent circuit disruption may depend more on factors related to the mechanics and secondary consequences of the injury, as opposed to subtle genetic variations between inbred mouse strains. The loss of neurons appears to be restricted to the first week post-injury, and the remaining neurons may serve as a substrate for recovery.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1320-1329
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number9
StatePublished - Sep 2006


  • Head injury
  • Hippocampus
  • Optical disector
  • Optical fractionator
  • Stereology
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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