Swati Anant Nicholas Lum Tina Wu


Introduction: The recent increase in rates of traumatic brain injury (TBI) has sparked a large body of research into its pathophysiology. TBI is characterized as a disruption of brain function following various forms of trauma. Astrocytes, a class of glial cells, play a critical role in TBI recovery by regulating the homeostasis of ions, water and blood flow. The astrocytes produced in response to neuroinflammation can be subdivided into two categories:. A1 reactive astrocytes are produced in response to inflammation and have neurotoxic effects, while A2 astrocytes have been shown to upregulate neurotrophic factors that promote the survival and growth of neurons. This research protocol will outline a novel method for transplantation of A1 and A2 astrocytes in murine models of TBI to explore its potential as a therapeutic intervention. 

Methods: The procedure for astrocyte transplantation will involve inducing TBI within a cohort of mice, administering A1 and A2 astrocytes, and testing the behavioral and biological outcomes. These outcomes will be measured via the Morris Water Maze and staining methodologies that assess the structural integrity of the gray and white brain matter. The control group will be a cohort of mice receiving a sham operation. 

Results: We anticipate that the mice receiving A2 astrocyte transplants will perform better on the Morris Water Maze tests compared to those who received A1 astrocyte transplants. Additionally, these mice will have higher amounts of both gray and white matter in comparison to the A1 astrocytes transplant group. Sham mice are anticipated to have similar results to the A1 astrocyte transplant group, while A2 astrocyte transplantation is expected to have no effect on mice without TBI.

Discussion: Results from the Morris Water Maze (MWM) will provide a functional assessment of the impact of astrocyte transplantation on TBI, and staining will provide a structural assessment on overall neurological health of the various cohorts of mice in this study. Future studies will be able to affirm the tangible processes that may influence the outcomes of astrocyte transplantation. 

Conclusion: This study will allow for a greater understanding of how astrocyte transplantation may benefit individuals who have suffered from TBI. 

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Research Protocol