Traumatic brain injury (TBI) can lead to early onset dementia and other related neurodegenerative diseases. We previously demonstrated that damage to the central auditory pathway resulting from blast-induced TBI (bTBI) could be significantly attenuated by a combinatorial antioxidant treatment regimen. In the current study, we examined the localization patterns of normal Tau and the potential blast-induced accumulation of neurotoxic variants of this microtubule-associated protein that are believed to potentiate the neurodegenerative effects associated with synaptic dysfunction in the hippocampus following three successive blast overpressure exposures in nontransgenic rats. We observed a marked increase in the number of both hyperphosphorylated and oligomeric Tau-positive hilar mossy cells and somatic accumulation of endogenous Tau in oligodendrocytes in the hippocampus. Remarkably, a combinatorial regimen of 2,4-disulfonyl α-phenyl tertiary butyl nitrone (HPN-07) and N-acetylcysteine (NAC) resulted in striking reductions in the numbers of both mossy cells and oligodendrocytes positively labeled for these pathological Tau immunoreactivity patterns in response to bTBI. This treatment strategy represents a promising therapeutic approach for simultaneously reducing or eliminating both primary auditory injury and nonauditory changes associated with bTBI-induced hippocampal neurodegeneration.
Du, X., West, M. B., Cheng, W., Ewert, D. L., Li, W., Saunders, D., … Kopke, R. D. (2016). Ameliorative effects of antioxidants on the hippocampal accumulation of pathologic tau in a rat model of blast-induced traumatic brain injury. Oxidative Medicine and Cellular Longevity, 2016. https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/4159357