Linking impact to cellular and molecular sequelae of CNS injury: modeling in vivo complexity with in vitro simplicity

Prog Brain Res. 2007:161:27-39. doi: 10.1016/S0079-6123(06)61003-0.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) represents one of most common disorders to the central nervous system (CNS). Despite significant efforts, though, an effective clinical treatment for TBI is not yet available. The complexity of human TBI is modeled with a broad group of experimental models, with each model matching some aspect of the human condition. In the past 15 years, these in vivo models were complemented with a group of in vitro models, with these in vitro models allowing investigators to more precisely identify the mechanism(s) of TBI, the different intracellular events that occur in acute period following injury, and the possible treatment of this injury in vitro. In this paper, we review the available in vitro models to study TBI, discuss their biomechanical basis for human TBI, and review the findings from these in vitro models. Finally, we synthesize the current knowledge and point out possible future directions for this group of models, especially in the effort toward developing new therapies for the traumatically brain injured patient.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Biomechanical Phenomena
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Humans
  • In Vitro Techniques
  • Models, Biological
  • Trauma, Nervous System / metabolism*
  • Trauma, Nervous System / pathology*