Microtubule-associated protein 2 levels decrease in hippocampus following traumatic brain injury

J Neurotrauma. 1992 Fall;9(3):281-90. doi: 10.1089/neu.1992.9.281.


We examined microtubule-associated protein 2 (MAP2) levels in hippocampal and cortical tissue 3 h following moderate traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the rat. MAP2 levels were assayed by quantitative immunoreactivity in tissue fractions obtained from naive, sham-injured, or fluid percussion-injured animals. Tissues were homogenized in the presence of protease inhibitors (0.3 mM phenylmethylsulfonyl fluoride, PMSF), a specific calpain inhibitors (0.1 mM leupeptin), and chelators (2 mM ethylene glycol-bis-tetraacetic acid, EGTA; 1 mM ethylenedinitrilo-tetraacetic acid, EDTA) to eliminate in vitro MAP2 proteolysis during tissue processing. Compared to naive rats, sham injury had no effect on soluble MAP2 levels in either cortex (105.0 +/- 4.4% of naive value) or hippocampus (106.6 +/- 5.2% of naive value). However, TBI caused a significant (p < 0.005) decrease in hippocampal MAP2 levels (55.7 +/- 5.9% of sham-injured controls). The effect appeared to be regionally selective, since the MAP2 decrease did not occur in cortex (89.1 +/- 1.4%). The degree of MAP2 decrease in hippocampus was similar in both membrane (57.8%) and cytosolic (55.7%) fractions, ruling out the possibility of partitioning artifacts. The data suggest that sublethal alterations of neuronal structure and function caused by MAP2 degradation may play an important role in the development of TBI-induced functional deficits. Since MAP2 is exclusively associated with the cytoskeleton in somal and dendritic compartments of neurons, the pathophysiology of sublethal magnitudes of TBI may also involve dendritic and somal dysfunction.

Publication types

  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Brain Injuries / metabolism*
  • Hippocampus / metabolism*
  • Male
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / immunology
  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins / metabolism*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Sprague-Dawley
  • Subcellular Fractions / immunology
  • Subcellular Fractions / metabolism


  • Microtubule-Associated Proteins