3 years ago

Gelatin promotes rapid restoration of the blood brain barrier after acute brain injury

Gelatin promotes rapid restoration of the blood brain barrier after acute brain injury
Gelatin coating of brain implants is known to provide considerable benefits in terms of reduced inflammatory sequalae and long-term neuroprotective effects. However, the mechanisms for gelatin’s protective role in brain injury are still unknown. To address this question, cellular and molecular markers were studied with quantitative immunohistochemical microscopy at acute (<2 hours, 1, 3 days), intermediate (1-2 weeks) and long-term time points (6 weeks) after transient insertion of stainless steel needles into female rat cortex cerebri with or without gelatin coating. Compared to non-coated controls, injuries caused by gelatin coated needles showed a significantly faster resolution of post-stab bleeding/leakage and differential effects on different groups of microglia cells. While similar levels of matrix metalloproteinase (MMP-2 and MMP-9, two gelatinases) was found for coated and noncoated needle stabs during the first week, markedly increased levels of both MMPs was seen for gelatin-coated but not non-coated needle stabs after 2 weeks. Neuronal populations and activated astrocytes were largely unaffected. In conclusion, the beneficial effects of gelatin may be the combined results of faster healing of the blood brain barrier curtailing leakage of blood borne molecules/cells into brain parenchyma and to a modulation of the microglial population response favoring restitution of the injured tissue. These findings present an important therapeutic potential for gelatin coatings in various disease, injury and surgical conditions. Statement of Significance The neural interfaces field holds great promise to enable elucidation of neural information processing and to develop new implantable devices for stimulation based therapy. Currently, this field is struggling to find solutions for reducing tissue reactions to implanted micro and nanotechnology. Prior studies have recently shown that gelatin coatings lower activation of digestive microglia and mitigate the ubiquitous loss of neurons adjacent to implanted probes, both of which impede implant function. The underlying mechanisms remain to be elucidated, however. Our findings demonstrate for the first time that gelatin has a significant effect on the BBB by promoting rapid restoration of integrity after injury. Moreover, gelatin alters microglia phenotypes and modulates gelatinase activity for up to 2 weeks favoring anti-inflammation and restoration of the tissue. Given the key importance of the BBB for normal brain functions, we believe our findings have substantial significance and will be highly interesting to researchers in the biomaterial field.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S1742706117306372

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