Restoring GM1 ganglioside expression ameliorates axonal outgrowth inhibition and cognitive impairments induced by blast traumatic brain injury

Sci Rep. 2017 Jan 23;7:41269. doi: 10.1038/srep41269.


Blast induced traumatic brain injury (B-TBI) may cause various degrees of cognitive and behavioral disturbances but the exact brain pathophysiology involved is poorly understood. It was previously suggested that ganglioside alteration on the axon surface as well as axonal regenerating inhibitors (ARIs) such as myelin associated glycoprotein (MAG) were involved in axonal outgrowth inhibition (AOI), leading to brain damage. GM1 ganglioside content in the brain was significantly reduced while GD1 ganglioside was not affected. The axonal regeneration was also reduced as seen by the phosphorylated NF-H expression. Moreover, B-TBI induced a significant elevation in MAG expression in the brains of the injured mice. The blast injured mice exhibited a significant decline in spatial memory as seen by the Y-maze test. In addition, the injured mice showed pronounced damage to the visual memory (as evaluated by the Novel object recognition test). A single low dose of GM1 (2 mg/kg; IP), shortly after the injury, prevented both the cognitive and the cellular changes in the brains of the injured mice. These results enlighten part of the complicated mechanism that underlies the damage induced by B-TBI and may also suggest a potential new treatment strategy for brain injuries.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Actins / metabolism
  • Animals
  • Axons / metabolism*
  • Biomarkers / metabolism
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / complications*
  • Brain Injuries, Traumatic / drug therapy
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / drug therapy
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / etiology*
  • Cognitive Dysfunction / metabolism*
  • Explosions*
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / administration & dosage
  • G(M1) Ganglioside / metabolism*
  • Gangliosides / metabolism
  • Growth Cones / drug effects
  • Growth Cones / metabolism
  • Hippocampus / metabolism
  • Male
  • Mice, Inbred ICR
  • Myelin Sheath / metabolism
  • Neurofilament Proteins / metabolism
  • Neuroprotective Agents / pharmacology
  • Neuroprotective Agents / therapeutic use
  • Time Factors


  • Actins
  • Biomarkers
  • Gangliosides
  • Neurofilament Proteins
  • Neuroprotective Agents
  • neurofilament protein H
  • ganglioside, GD1b
  • G(M1) Ganglioside