Striatal Mitochondrial Disruption following Severe Traumatic Brain Injury

Jennifer L. Harmon, Whitney S. Gibbs, Ryan M. Whitaker, Rick G. Schnellmann, Deanna L. Adkins

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) results in oxidative stress and calcium dysregulation in mitochondria. However, little work has examined perturbations of mitochondrial homeostasis in peri-injury tissue. We examined mitochondrial homeostasis after a unilateral controlled cortical impact over the sensorimotor cortex in adult male rats. There was a significant reduction in peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1-alpha (PGC-1α) messenger RNA (mRNA) at post-injury days 3 and 6 and a transient reduction in mitochondrial DNA copy number at 3 days post-injury that recovered by 6 days in the ipsi-injury striatum. In ipsilateral cortex, PGC-1α mRNA was reduced only at 6 days post-injury. Additionally, expression of mitochondrial-encoded mRNAs, cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 and NADH dehydrogenase subunit 1, was decreased at 3 and 6 days post-injury in ipsilesional striatum and at 6 days post-injury in ipsilesional cortex. There was no observable decrease in nuclear-encoded mRNAs mitochondrial transcription factor A or NADH dehydrogenase (ubiquinone) Fe-S protein 1. We detected an acute increase in superoxide dismutase 2 mRNA expression, as well as an induction of microRNA (miR)-21 and miR-155, which have been previously demonstrated to disrupt mitochondrial homeostasis. Behaviorally, rats with TBI exhibited marked error rates in contrainjury forelimb performance on the ladder test. These findings reveal that there may be differential susceptibilities of various peri-injury brain structures to mitochondrial dysfunction and associated behavioral deficits, and that molecular pathways demonstrated to interfere with mitochondrial homeostasis and function are activated subacutely post-TBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)487-494
Number of pages8
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number2
StatePublished - Jan 15 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • controlled cortical impact
  • mitochondria
  • oxidative stress
  • traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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