Traumatic brain injury can cause loss of neuronal tissue, remote symptomatic epilepsy, and cognitive deficits. However, the mechanisms underlying the effects of traumatic brain injury are not yet clear. Hippocampal excitability is strongly correlated with cognitive dysfunction and remote symptomatic epilepsy. In this study, we examined the relationship between traumatic brain injury-induced neuronal loss and subsequent hippocampal regional excitability. We used hydraulic percussion to generate a rat model of traumatic brain injury. At 7 days after injury, the mean modified neurological severity score was 9.5, suggesting that the neurological function of the rats was remarkably impaired. Electrophysiology and immunocytochemical staining revealed increases in the slope of excitatory postsynaptic potentials and long-term depression (indicating weakened long-term inhibition), and the numbers of cholecystokinin and parvalbumin immunoreactive cells were clearly reduced in the rat hippocampal dentate gyrus. These results indicate that interneuronal loss and changes in excitability occurred in the hippocampal dentate gyrus. Thus, traumatic brain injury-induced loss of interneurons appears to be associated with reduced long-term depression in the hippocampal dentate gyrus.
Keywords: cholecystokinin; dentate gyrus; electrophysiology; excitability; hippocampus; interneurons; long-term depression; nerve regeneration; neural regeneration; parvalbumin; quantification; traumatic brain injury.