Publications by authors named "Changyang Fan"

3 Publications

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Primary Blast-Induced Changes in Akt and GSK Phosphorylation in Rat Hippocampus.

Front Neurol 2017 18;8:413. Epub 2017 Aug 18.

Department of Psychiatry, Douglas Mental Health University Institute, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to blast from improvised explosive devices has been a leading cause of morbidity and mortality in recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan. However, the mechanisms of primary blast-induced TBI are not well understood. The Akt signal transduction pathway has been implicated in various brain pathologies including TBI. In the present study, the effects of simulated primary blast waves on the phosphorylation status of Akt and its downstream effector kinase, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK), in rat hippocampus, were investigated. Male Sprague-Dawley (SD) rats (350-400 g) were exposed to a single pulse shock wave (25 psi; ~7 ms duration) and sacrificed 1 day, 1 week, or 6 weeks after exposure. Total and phosphorylated Akt, as well as phosphorylation of its downstream effector kinase GSK (at serine 9), were detected with western blot analysis and immunohistochemistry. Results showed that Akt phosphorylation at both serine 473 and threonine 308 was increased 1 day after blast on the ipsilateral side of the hippocampus, and this elevation persisted until at least 6 weeks postexposure. Similarly, phosphorylation of GSK at serine 9, which inhibits GSK activity, was also increased starting at 1 day and persisted until at least 6 weeks after primary blast on the ipsilateral side. In contrast, p-Akt was increased at 1 and 6 weeks on the contralateral side, while p-GSK was increased 1 day and 1 week after primary blast exposure. No significant changes in total protein levels of Akt and GSK were observed on either side of the hippocampus at any time points. Immunohistochemical results showed that increased p-Akt was mainly of neuronal origin in the CA1 region of the hippocampus and once phosphorylated, the majority was translocated to the dendritic and plasma membranes. Finally, electrophysiological data showed that evoked synaptic -methyl-d-aspartate (NMDA) receptor activity was significantly increased 6 weeks after primary blast, suggesting that increased Akt phosphorylation may enhance synaptic NMDA receptor activation, or that enhanced synaptic NMDA receptor activation may increase Akt phosphorylation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2017.00413DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5563325PMC
August 2017

Primary Blast Causes Delayed Effects without Cell Death in Shell-Encased Brain Cell Aggregates.

J Neurotrauma 2018 01 14;35(1):174-186. Epub 2017 Sep 14.

1 Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Center , Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada .

Previous work in this laboratory used underwater explosive exposures to isolate the effects of shock-induced principle stress without shear on rat brain aggregate cultures. The current study has utilized simulated air blast to expose aggregates in suspension and enclosed within a spherical shell, enabling the examination of a much more complex biomechanical insult. Culture medium-filled spheres were exposed to single pulse overpressures of 15-30 psi (∼6-7 msec duration) and measurements within the sphere at defined sites showed complex and spatially dependent pressure changes. When brain aggregates were exposed to similar conditions, no cell death was observed and no changes in several commonly used biomarkers of traumatic brain injury (TBI) were noted. However, similarly to underwater blast, immediate and transient increases in the protein kinase B signaling pathway were observed at early time-points (3 days). In contrast, the oligodendrocyte marker 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphodiesterase, as well as vascular endothelial growth factor, both displayed markedly delayed (14-28 days) and pressure-dependent responses. The imposition of a spherical shell between the single pulse shock wave and the target brain tissue introduces greatly increased complexity to the insult. This work shows that brain tissue can not only discriminate the nature of the pressure changes it experiences, but that a portion of its response is significantly delayed. These results have mechanistic implications for the study of primary blast-induced TBI and also highlight the importance of rigorously characterizing the actual pressure variations experienced by target tissue in primary blast studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2016.4961DOI Listing
January 2018

High-Fidelity Simulation of Primary Blast: Direct Effects on the Head.

J Neurotrauma 2016 07 16;33(13):1181-93. Epub 2016 Mar 16.

3 Canada West Biosciences , Calgary, Alberta, Canada .

The role of primary blast in blast-induced traumatic brain injury (bTBI) is controversial in part due to the technical difficulties of generating free-field blast conditions in the laboratory. The use of traditional shock tubes often results in artifacts, particularly of dynamic pressure, whereas the forces affecting the head are dependent on where the animal is placed relative to the tube, whether the exposure is whole-body or head-only, and on how the head is actually exposed to the insult (restrained or not). An advanced blast simulator (ABS) has been developed that enables high-fidelity simulation of free-field blastwaves, including sharply defined static and dynamic overpressure rise times, underpressures, and secondary shockwaves. Rats were exposed in head-only fashion to single-pulse blastwaves of 15 to 30 psi static overpressure. Head restraints were configured so as to eliminate concussive and minimize whiplash forces exerted on the head, as shown by kinematic analysis. No overt signs of trauma were present in the animals post-exposure. However, significant changes in brain 2',3'-cyclic nucleotide 3'-phosphohydrolase (CNPase) and neurofilament heavy chain levels were evident by 7 days. In contrast to most studies of primary blast-induced TBI (PbTBI), no elevation of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) levels was noted when head movement was minimized. The ABS described in this article enables the generation of shockwaves highly representative of free-field blast. The use of this technology, in concert with head-only exposure, minimized head movement, and the kinematic analysis of the forces exerted on the head provide convincing evidence that primary blast directly causes changes in brain function and that GFAP may not be an appropriate biomarker of PbTBI.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2015.3914DOI Listing
July 2016
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