Publications by authors named "Holly A Kinder"

17 Publications

  • Page 1 of 1

Intracisternal administration of tanshinone IIA-loaded nanoparticles leads to reduced tissue injury and functional deficits in a porcine model of ischemic stroke.

IBRO Neurosci Rep 2021 Jun 5;10:18-30. Epub 2021 Jan 5.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, United States.

Background: The absolute number of new stroke patients is annually increasing and there still remains only a few Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved treatments with significant limitations available to patients. Tanshinone IIA (Tan IIA) is a promising potential therapeutic for ischemic stroke that has shown success in pre-clinical rodent studies but lead to inconsistent efficacy results in human patients. The physical properties of Tan-IIA, including short half-life and low solubility, suggests that Poly (lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) nanoparticle-assisted delivery may lead to improve bioavailability and therapeutic efficacy. The objective of this study was to develop Tan IIA-loaded nanoparticles (Tan IIA-NPs) and to evaluate their therapeutic effects on cerebral pathological changes and consequent motor function deficits in a pig ischemic stroke model.

Results: Tan IIA-NP treated neural stem cells showed a reduction in SOD activity in in vitro assays demonstrating antioxidative effects. Ischemic stroke pigs treated with Tan IIA-NPs showed reduced hemispheric swelling when compared to vehicle only treated pigs (7.85 ± 1.41 vs. 16.83 ± 0.62%), consequent midline shift (MLS) (1.72 ± 0.07 vs. 2.91 ± 0.36 mm), and ischemic lesion volumes (9.54 ± 5.06 vs. 12.01 ± 0.17 cm) when compared to vehicle-only treated pigs. Treatment also lead to lower reductions in diffusivity (-37.30 ± 3.67 vs. -46.33 ± 0.73%) and white matter integrity (-19.66 ± 5.58 vs. -30.11 ± 1.19%) as well as reduced hemorrhage (0.85 ± 0.15 vs 2.91 ± 0.84 cm) 24 h post-ischemic stroke. In addition, Tan IIA-NPs led to a reduced percentage of circulating band neutrophils at 12 (7.75 ± 1.93 vs. 14.00 ± 1.73%) and 24 (4.25 ± 0.48 vs 5.75 ± 0.85%) hours post-stroke suggesting a mitigated inflammatory response. Moreover, spatiotemporal gait deficits including cadence, cycle time, step time, swing percent of cycle, stride length, and changes in relative mean pressure were less severe post-stroke in Tan IIA-NP treated pigs relative to control pigs.

Conclusion: The findings of this proof of concept study strongly suggest that administration of Tan IIA-NPs in the acute phase post-stroke mitigates neural injury likely through limiting free radical formation, thus leading to less severe gait deficits in a translational pig ischemic stroke model. With stroke as one of the leading causes of functional disability in the United States, and gait deficits being a major component, these promising results suggest that acute Tan IIA-NP administration may improve functional outcomes and the quality of life of many future stroke patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ibneur.2020.11.003DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8019951PMC
June 2021

Exploring the predictive value of lesion topology on motor function outcomes in a porcine ischemic stroke model.

Sci Rep 2021 Feb 15;11(1):3814. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.

Harnessing the maximum diagnostic potential of magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) by including stroke lesion location in relation to specific structures that are associated with particular functions will likely increase the potential to predict functional deficit type, severity, and recovery in stroke patients. This exploratory study aims to identify key structures lesioned by a middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) that impact stroke recovery and to strengthen the predictive capacity of neuroimaging techniques that characterize stroke outcomes in a translational porcine model. Clinically relevant MRI measures showed significant lesion volumes, midline shifts, and decreased white matter integrity post-MCAO. Using a pig brain atlas, damaged brain structures included the insular cortex, somatosensory cortices, temporal gyri, claustrum, and visual cortices, among others. MCAO resulted in severely impaired spatiotemporal gait parameters, decreased voluntary movement in open field testing, and higher modified Rankin Scale scores at acute timepoints. Pearson correlation analyses at acute timepoints between standard MRI metrics (e.g., lesion volume) and functional outcomes displayed moderate R values to functional gait outcomes. Moreover, Pearson correlation analyses showed higher R values between functional gait deficits and increased lesioning of structures associated with motor function, such as the putamen, globus pallidus, and primary somatosensory cortex. This correlation analysis approach helped identify neuroanatomical structures predictive of stroke outcomes and may lead to the translation of this topological analysis approach from preclinical stroke assessment to a clinical biomarker.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-021-83432-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884696PMC
February 2021

Magnetic Resonance Imaging and Gait Analysis Indicate Similar Outcomes Between Yucatan and Landrace Porcine Ischemic Stroke Models.

Front Neurol 2020 21;11:594954. Epub 2021 Jan 21.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States.

The Stroke Therapy Academic Industry Roundtable (STAIR) has recommended that novel therapeutics be tested in a large animal model with similar anatomy and physiology to humans. The pig is an attractive model due to similarities in brain size, organization, and composition relative to humans. However, multiple pig breeds have been used to study ischemic stroke with potentially differing cerebral anatomy, architecture and, consequently, ischemic stroke pathologies. The objective of this study was to characterize brain anatomy and assess spatiotemporal gait parameters in Yucatan (YC) and Landrace (LR) pigs pre- and post-stroke using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and gait analysis, respectively. Ischemic stroke was induced via permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO). MRI was performed pre-stroke and 1-day post-stroke. Structural and diffusion-tensor sequences were performed at both timepoints and analyzed for cerebral characteristics, lesion diffusivity, and white matter changes. Spatiotemporal and relative pressure gait measurements were collected pre- and 2-days post-stroke to characterize and compare acute functional deficits. The results from this study demonstrated that YC and LR pigs exhibit differences in gross brain anatomy and gait patterns pre-stroke with MRI and gait analysis showing statistical differences in the majority of parameters. However, stroke pathologies in YC and LR pigs were highly comparable post-stroke for most evaluated MRI parameters, including lesion volume and diffusivity, hemisphere swelling, ventricle compression, caudal transtentorial and foramen magnum herniation, showing no statistical difference between the breeds. In addition, post-stroke changes in velocity, cycle time, swing percent, cadence, and mean hoof pressure showed no statistical difference between the breeds. These results indicate significant differences between pig breeds in brain size, anatomy, and motor function pre-stroke, yet both demonstrate comparable brain pathophysiology and motor outcomes post-stroke. The conclusions of this study suggest pigs of these different breeds generally show a similar ischemic stroke response and findings can be compared across porcine stroke studies that use different breeds.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fneur.2020.594954DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7859633PMC
January 2021

Semi-Automated Cell and Tissue Analyses Reveal Regionally Specific Morphological Alterations of Immune and Neural Cells in a Porcine Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion Model of Stroke.

Front Cell Neurosci 2020 22;14:600441. Epub 2021 Jan 22.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States.

Histopathological analysis of cellular changes in the stroked brain provides critical information pertaining to inflammation, cell death, glial scarring, and other dynamic injury and recovery responses. However, commonly used manual approaches are hindered by limitations in speed, accuracy, bias, and the breadth of morphological information that can be obtained. Here, a semi-automated high-content imaging (HCI) and CellProfiler histological analysis method was developed and used in a Yucatan miniature pig permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion (pMCAO) model of ischemic stroke to overcome these limitations. Evaluation of 19 morphological parameters in IBA1 microglia/macrophages, GFAP astrocytes, NeuN neuronal, FactorVIII vascular endothelial, and DCX neuroblast cell areas was conducted on porcine brain tissue 4 weeks post pMCAO. Out of 19 morphological parameters assessed in the stroke perilesional and ipsilateral hemisphere regions (38 parameters), a significant change in measured IBA1 parameters, GFAP parameters, NeuN parameters, FactorVIII parameters, and DCX parameters were observed in stroked vs. non-stroked animals. Principal component analysis (PCA) and correlation analyses demonstrated that stroke-induced significant and predictable morphological changes that demonstrated strong relationships between IBA1, GFAP, and NeuN areas. Ultimately, this unbiased, semi-automated HCI and CellProfiler histopathological analysis approach revealed regional and cell specific morphological signatures of immune and neural cells after stroke in a highly translational porcine model. These identified features can provide information of disease pathogenesis and evolution with high resolution, as well as be used in therapeutic screening applications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fncel.2020.600441DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7862775PMC
January 2021

Dynamic Changes in the Gut Microbiome at the Acute Stage of Ischemic Stroke in a Pig Model.

Front Neurosci 2020 3;14:587986. Epub 2020 Dec 3.

Department of Foods and Nutrition, College of Family and Consumer Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States.

Stroke is a major cause of death and long-term disability affecting seven million adults in the United States each year. Recently, it has been demonstrated that neurological diseases, associated pathology, and susceptibility changes correlated with changes in the gut microbiota. However, changes in the microbial community in stroke has not been well characterized. The acute stage of stroke is a critical period for assessing injury severity, therapeutic intervention, and clinical prognosis. We investigated the changes in the gut microbiota composition and diversity using a middle cerebral artery (MCA) occlusion ischemic stroke pig model. Ischemic stroke was induced by cauterization of the MCA in pigs. Blood samples were collected prestroke and 4 h, 12 h, 1 day, and 5 days poststroke to evaluate circulating proinflammatory cytokines. Fecal samples were collected prestroke and 1, 3, and 5 days poststroke to assess gut microbiome changes. Results showed elevated systemic inflammation with increased plasma levels of tumor necrosis factor alpha at 4 h and interleukin-6 at 12 h poststroke, relative to prestroke. Microbial diversity and evenness were reduced at 1 day poststroke compared to prestroke. Microbial diversity at 3 days poststroke was negatively correlated with lesion volume. Moreover, beta-diversity analysis revealed trending overall differences over time, with the most significant changes in microbial patterns observed between prestroke and 3 days poststroke. Abundance of the Proteobacteria was significantly increased, while Firmicutes decreased at 3 days poststroke, compared to prestroke populations. Abundance of the lactic acid bacteria was reduced at 3 days poststroke. By day 5, the microbial pattern returned to similar values as prestroke, suggesting the plasticity of gut microbiome in an acute period of stroke in a pig model. These findings provide a basis for characterizing gut microbial changes during the acute stage of stroke, which can be used to assess stroke pathology and the potential development of therapeutic targets.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fnins.2020.587986DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7744295PMC
December 2020

An Adolescent Porcine Model of Voluntary Alcohol Consumption Exhibits Binge Drinking and Motor Deficits in a Two Bottle Choice Test.

Alcohol Alcohol 2021 Apr;56(3):266-274

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, 425 River Road, Athens, GA, 30602, USA.

Aims: Alcohol is the most commonly abused substance leading to significant economic and medical burdens. Pigs are an attractive model for studying alcohol abuse disorder due to the comparable alcohol metabolism and consumption behavior, which are in stark contrast to rodent models. This study investigates the usage of a porcine model for voluntary binge drinking (BD) and a detailed analysis of gait changes due to motor function deficits during alcohol intoxication.

Methods: Adolescent pigs were trained to drink increasing concentration (0-8%) of alcohol mixed in a 0.2% saccharin solution for 1 h in a two bottle choice test for 2 weeks. The training period was followed by a 3-week alcohol testing period, where animals were given free access to 8% alcohol in 0.2% saccharin solution and 0.2% saccharin water solution. Blood alcohol levels were tested and gait analysis was performed pre-alcohol consumption, last day of training, and Day 5 of each testing period.

Results: Pigs voluntarily consumed alcohol to intoxication at all timepoints with blood alcohol concentration (BAL) ≥80 mg/dl. Spatiotemporal gait parameters including velocity, cadence, cycle time, swing time, stance time, step time, and stride length were perturbed as a result of intoxication. The stratification of the gait data based on BAL revealed that the gait parameters were affected in a dose-dependent manner.

Conclusion: This novel adolescent BD porcine model with inherent anatomical and physiological similarities to humans display similar consumption and intoxication behavior that is likely to yield results that are translatable to human patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/alcalc/agaa105DOI Listing
April 2021

Identification of predictive MRI and functional biomarkers in a pediatric piglet traumatic brain injury model.

Neural Regen Res 2021 Feb;16(2):338-344

Regenerative Bioscience Center; Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) at a young age can lead to the development of long-term functional impairments. Severity of injury is well demonstrated to have a strong influence on the extent of functional impairments; however, identification of specific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) biomarkers that are most reflective of injury severity and functional prognosis remain elusive. Therefore, the objective of this study was to utilize advanced statistical approaches to identify clinically relevant MRI biomarkers and predict functional outcomes using MRI metrics in a translational large animal piglet TBI model. TBI was induced via controlled cortical impact and multiparametric MRI was performed at 24 hours and 12 weeks post-TBI using T1-weighted, T2-weighted, T2-weighted fluid attenuated inversion recovery, diffusion-weighted imaging, and diffusion tensor imaging. Changes in spatiotemporal gait parameters were also assessed using an automated gait mat at 24 hours and 12 weeks post-TBI. Principal component analysis was performed to determine the MRI metrics and spatiotemporal gait parameters that explain the largest sources of variation within the datasets. We found that linear combinations of lesion size and midline shift acquired using T2-weighted imaging explained most of the variability of the data at both 24 hours and 12 weeks post-TBI. In addition, linear combinations of velocity, cadence, and stride length were found to explain most of the gait data variability at 24 hours and 12 weeks post-TBI. Linear regression analysis was performed to determine if MRI metrics are predictive of changes in gait. We found that both lesion size and midline shift are significantly correlated with decreases in stride and step length. These results from this study provide an important first step at identifying relevant MRI and functional biomarkers that are predictive of functional outcomes in a clinically relevant piglet TBI model. This study was approved by the University of Georgia Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee (AUP: A2015 11-001) on December 22, 2015.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/1673-5374.290915DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7896230PMC
February 2021

Characterization of tissue and functional deficits in a clinically translational pig model of acute ischemic stroke.

Brain Res 2020 06 16;1736:146778. Epub 2020 Mar 16.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States; Neuroscience Program, Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States; Department of Animal and Dairy Science, College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States. Electronic address:

The acute stroke phase is a critical time frame used to evaluate stroke severity, therapeutic options, and prognosis while also serving as a major tool for the development of diagnostics. To further understand stroke pathophysiology and to enhance the development of treatments, our group developed a translational pig ischemic stroke model. In this study, the evolution of acute ischemic tissue damage, immune responses, and functional deficits were further characterized. Stroke was induced by middle cerebral artery occlusion in Landrace pigs. At 24 h post-stroke, magnetic resonance imaging revealed a decrease in ipsilateral diffusivity, an increase in hemispheric swelling resulting in notable midline shift, and intracerebral hemorrhage. Stroke negatively impacted white matter integrity with decreased fractional anisotropy values in the internal capsule. Like patients, pigs showed a reduction in circulating lymphocytes and a surge in neutrophils and band cells. Functional responses corresponded with structural changes through reductions in open field exploration and impairments in spatiotemporal gait parameters. Characterization of acute ischemic stroke in pigs provided important insights into tissue and functional-level assessments that could be used to identify potential biomarkers and improve preclinical testing of novel therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.brainres.2020.146778DOI Listing
June 2020

Controlled Cortical Impact Leads to Cognitive and Motor Function Deficits that Correspond to Cellular Pathology in a Piglet Traumatic Brain Injury Model.

J Neurotrauma 2019 10 17;36(19):2810-2826. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in the United States, with children who sustain a TBI having a greater risk of developing long-lasting cognitive, behavioral, and motor function deficits. This has led to increased interest in utilizing large animal models to study pathophysiologic and functional changes after injury in hopes of identifying novel therapeutic targets. In the present study, a controlled cortical impact (CCI) piglet TBI model was utilized to evaluate cognitive, motor, and histopathologic outcomes. CCI injury (4 m/sec velocity, 9 mm depression, 400 msec dwell time) was induced at the parietal cortex. Compared with normal pigs ( = 5), TBI pigs ( = 5) exhibited appreciable cognitive deficiencies, including significantly impaired spatial memory in spatial T-maze testing and a significant decrease in exploratory behaviors followed by marked hyperactivity in open field testing. Additionally, gait analysis revealed significant increases in cycle time and stance percent, significant decreases in hind reach, and a shift in the total pressure index from the front to the hind limb on the affected side, suggesting TBI impairs gait and balance. Pigs were sacrificed 28 days post-TBI and histological analysis revealed that TBI lead to a significant decrease in neurons and a significant increase in microglia activation and astrogliosis/astrocytosis at the perilesional area, a significant loss in neurons at the dorsal hippocampus, and significantly increased neuroblast proliferation at the subventricular zone. These data demonstrate a strong relationship between TBI-induced cellular changes and functional outcomes in our piglet TBI model that lay the framework for future studies that assess the ability of therapeutic interventions to contribute to functional improvements.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2019.6405DOI Listing
October 2019

Traumatic Brain Injury Results in Dynamic Brain Structure Changes Leading to Acute and Chronic Motor Function Deficits in a Pediatric Piglet Model.

J Neurotrauma 2019 10 17;36(20):2930-2942. Epub 2019 Jun 17.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and disability in children. Pediatric TBI patients often suffer from crippling cognitive, emotional, and motor function deficits that have negative lifelong effects. The objective of this study was to longitudinally assess TBI pathophysiology using multi-parametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), gait analysis, and histological approaches in a pediatric piglet model. TBI was produced by controlled cortical impact in Landrace piglets. MRI data, including from proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (MRS), were collected 24 hours and 12 weeks post-TBI, and gait analysis was performed at multiple time-points over 12 weeks post-TBI. A subset of animals was sacrificed 24 hours, 1 week, 4 weeks, and 12 weeks post-TBI for histological analysis. MRI results demonstrated that TBI led to a significant brain lesion and midline shift as well as microscopic tissue damage with altered brain diffusivity, decreased white matter integrity, and reduced cerebral blood flow. MRS showed a range of neurochemical changes after TBI. Histological analysis revealed neuronal loss, astrogliosis/astrocytosis, and microglia activation. Further, gait analysis showed transient impairments in cadence, cycle time, % stance, step length, and stride length, as well as long-term impairments in weight distribution after TBI. Taken together, this study illustrates the distinct time course of TBI pathoanatomic and functional responses up to 12 weeks post-TBI in a piglet TBI model. The study of TBI injury and recovery mechanisms, as well as the testing of therapeutics in this translational model, are likely to be more predictive of human responses and clinical outcomes compared to traditional small animal models.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2018.6303DOI Listing
October 2019

Neural stem cell therapy for stroke: A multimechanistic approach to restoring neurological function.

Brain Behav 2019 03 12;9(3):e01214. Epub 2019 Feb 12.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

Introduction: Neural stem cells (NSCs) have demonstrated multimodal therapeutic function for stroke, which is the leading cause of long-term disability and the second leading cause of death worldwide. In preclinical stroke models, NSCs have been shown to modulate inflammation, foster neuroplasticity and neural reorganization, promote angiogenesis, and act as a cellular replacement by differentiating into mature neural cell types. However, there are several key technical questions to address before NSC therapy can be applied to the clinical setting on a large scale.

Purpose Of Review: In this review, we will discuss the various sources of NSCs, their therapeutic modes of action to enhance stroke recovery, and considerations for the clinical translation of NSC therapies. Understanding the key factors involved in NSC-mediated tissue recovery and addressing the current translational barriers may lead to clinical success of NSC therapy and a first-in-class restorative therapy for stroke patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/brb3.1214DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6422715PMC
March 2019

The pig as a preclinical traumatic brain injury model: current models, functional outcome measures, and translational detection strategies.

Neural Regen Res 2019 Mar;14(3):413-424

Regenerative Bioscience Center; Department of Animal and Dairy Science, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, USA.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major contributor of long-term disability and a leading cause of death worldwide. A series of secondary injury cascades can contribute to cell death, tissue loss, and ultimately to the development of functional impairments. However, there are currently no effective therapeutic interventions that improve brain outcomes following TBI. As a result, a number of experimental TBI models have been developed to recapitulate TBI injury mechanisms and to test the efficacy of potential therapeutics. The pig model has recently come to the forefront as the pig brain is closer in size, structure, and composition to the human brain compared to traditional rodent models, making it an ideal large animal model to study TBI pathophysiology and functional outcomes. This review will focus on the shared characteristics between humans and pigs that make them ideal for modeling TBI and will review the three most common pig TBI models-the diffuse axonal injury, the controlled cortical impact, and the fluid percussion models. It will also review current advances in functional outcome assessment measures and other non-invasive, translational TBI detection and measurement tools like biomarker analysis and magnetic resonance imaging. The use of pigs as TBI models and the continued development and improvement of translational assessment modalities have made significant contributions to unraveling the complex cascade of TBI sequela and provide an important means to study potential clinically relevant therapeutic interventions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4103/1673-5374.245334DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6334610PMC
March 2019

Scaled traumatic brain injury results in unique metabolomic signatures between gray matter, white matter, and serum in a piglet model.

PLoS One 2018 31;13(10):e0206481. Epub 2018 Oct 31.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, United States of America.

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of death and long-term disability in the United States. The heterogeneity of the disease coupled with the lack of comprehensive, standardized scales to adequately characterize multiple types of TBI remain to be major challenges facing effective therapeutic development. A systems level approach to TBI diagnosis through the use of metabolomics could lead to a better understanding of cellular changes post-TBI and potential therapeutic targets. In the current study, we utilize a GC-MS untargeted metabolomics approach to demonstrate altered metabolism in response to TBI in a translational pig model, which possesses many neuroanatomical and pathophysiologic similarities to humans. TBI was produced by controlled cortical impact (CCI) in Landrace piglets with impact velocity and depth of depression set to 2m/s;6mm, 4m/s;6mm, 4m/s;12mm, or 4m/s;15mm resulting in graded neural injury. Serum samples were collected pre-TBI, 24 hours post-TBI, and 7 days post-TBI. Partial least squares discriminant analysis (PLS-DA) revealed that each impact parameter uniquely influenced the metabolomic profile after TBI, and gray and white matter responds differently to TBI on the biochemical level with evidence of white matter displaying greater metabolic change. Furthermore, pathway analysis revealed unique metabolic signatures that were dependent on injury severity and brain tissue type. Metabolomic signatures were also detected in serum samples which potentially captures both time after injury and injury severity. These findings provide a platform for the development of a more accurate TBI classification scale based unique metabolomic signatures.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0206481PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6209298PMC
April 2019

Controlled Cortical Impact Severity Results in Graded Cellular, Tissue, and Functional Responses in a Piglet Traumatic Brain Injury Model.

J Neurotrauma 2019 01 21;36(1):61-73. Epub 2018 Aug 21.

1 Regenerative Bioscience Center, College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Georgia, Athens, Georgia.

A number of pre-clinical rodent models have been developed in an effort to recapitulate injury mechanisms and identify potential therapeutics for traumatic brain injury (TBI), which is a major cause of death and long-term disability in the United States. The lack of restorative treatments for TBI, however, has led to considerable criticism of current pre-clinical therapeutic development strategies-namely, the translatability of widely used rodent models to human patients. The use of large animal models, such as the pig, with more brain anatomy and physiology comparable to humans may enhance the translational capacity of current pre-clinical animal models. The objective of this study was to develop and characterize a graded piglet TBI model with quantitative pathological features at the cellular, tissue, and functional level that become more prominent with increasing TBI severity. A graded TBI was produced by controlled cortical impact (CCI) in "toddler-aged" Landrace piglets by increasing impact velocity and/or depth of depression to 2 m/sec; 6 mm; 4 m/sec; 6 mm; 4 m/sec; 12 mm; or 4 m/sec; 15 mm, producing a range of neural injury responses that corresponded to injury severity. Quantitative gait analysis was performed pre-TBI and one, three, and seven days post-TBI, and piglets were sacrificed seven days post-TBI. Increasing impact parameters correlated to increases in lesion size with piglets that sustained a 6 mm depth of depression exhibiting significantly smaller lesions than piglets that sustained a depth of depression of 12 mm or 15 mm. Similarly, the extent of neuronal loss, astrogliosis/astrocytosis, and white matter damage became more prominent as CCI parameters were increased. These cellular and tissue-level changes correlated with motor function deficits including swing/stance time, stride velocity, and two- versus three-limb support. The piglet TBI model described here could serve as a translational platform for studying TBI sequelae across injury severities and identifying novel therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/neu.2017.5551DOI Listing
January 2019

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Stem Cell Therapy Enhances Recovery in an Ischemic Stroke Pig Model.

Sci Rep 2017 08 30;7(1):10075. Epub 2017 Aug 30.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA, 30602, USA.

Induced pluripotent stem cell-derived neural stem cells (iNSCs) have significant potential as an autologous, multifunctional cell therapy for stroke, which is the primary cause of long term disability in the United States and the second leading cause of death worldwide. Here we show that iNSC transplantation improves recovery through neuroprotective, regenerative, and cell replacement mechanisms in a novel ischemic pig stroke model. Longitudinal multiparametric magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) following iNSC therapy demonstrated reduced changes in white matter integrity, cerebral blood perfusion, and brain metabolism in the infarcted tissue. The observed tissue level recovery strongly correlated with decreased immune response, enhanced neuronal protection, and increased neurogenesis. iNSCs differentiated into neurons and oligodendrocytes with indication of long term integration. The robust recovery response to iNSC therapy in a translational pig stroke model with increased predictive potential strongly supports that iNSCs may be the critically needed therapeutic for human stroke patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41598-017-10406-xDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5577218PMC
August 2017

Nonviral minicircle generation of induced pluripotent stem cells compatible with production of chimeric chickens.

Cell Reprogram 2014 Oct 1;16(5):366-78. Epub 2014 Aug 1.

1 Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia , Athens, GA, 30602.

Chickens are vitally important in numerous countries as a primary food source and a major component of economic development. Efforts have been made to produce transgenic birds through pluripotent stem cell [primordial germ cells and embryonic stem cells (ESCs)] approaches to create animals with improved traits, such as meat and egg production or even disease resistance. However, these cell types have significant limitations because they are hard to culture long term while maintaining developmental plasticity. Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) are a novel class of stem cells that have proven to be robust, leading to the successful development of transgenic mice, rats, quail, and pigs and may potentially overcome the limitations of previous pluripotent stem cell systems in chickens. In this study we generated chicken (c) iPSCs from fibroblast cells for the first time using a nonviral minicircle reprogramming approach. ciPSCs demonstrated stem cell morphology and expressed key stem cell markers, including alkaline phosphatase, POU5F1, SOX2, NANOG, and SSEA-1. These cells were capable of rapid growth and expressed high levels of telomerase. Late-passage ciPSCs transplanted into stage X embryos were successfully incorporated into tissues of all three germ layers, and the gonads demonstrated significant cellular plasticity. These cells provide an exciting new tool to create transgenic chickens with broad implications for agricultural and transgenic animal fields at large.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1089/cell.2014.0028DOI Listing
October 2014

Development and characterization of a Yucatan miniature biomedical pig permanent middle cerebral artery occlusion stroke model.

Exp Transl Stroke Med 2014 Mar 23;6(1). Epub 2014 Mar 23.

Regenerative Bioscience Center, University of Georgia, Athens, GA 30602, USA.

Background: Efforts to develop stroke treatments have met with limited success despite an intense need to produce novel treatments. The failed translation of many of these therapies in clinical trials has lead to a close examination of the therapeutic development process. One of the major factors believed to be limiting effective screening of these treatments is the absence of an animal model more predictive of human responses to treatments. The pig may potentially fill this gap with a gyrencephalic brain that is larger in size with a more similar gray-white matter composition to humans than traditional stroke animal models. In this study we develop and characterize a novel pig middle cerebral artery occlusion (MCAO) ischemic stroke model.

Methods: Eleven male pigs underwent MCAO surgery with the first 4 landrace pigs utilized to optimize stroke procedure and 7 additional Yucatan stroked pigs studied over a 90 day period. MRI analysis was done at 24 hrs and 90 days and included T2w, T2w FLAIR, T1w FLAIR and DWI sequences and associated ADC maps. Pigs were sacrificed at 90 days and underwent gross and microscopic histological evaluation. Significance in quantitative changes was determined by two-way analysis of variance and post-hoc Tukey's Pair-Wise comparisons.

Results: MRI analysis of animals that underwent MCAO surgery at 24 hrs had hyperintense regions in T2w and DWI images with corresponding ADC maps having hypointense regions indicating cytotoxic edema consistent with an ischemic stroke. At 90 days, region of interest analysis of T1 FLAIR and ADC maps had an average lesion size of 59.17 cc, a loss of 8% brain matter. Histological examination of pig brains showed atrophy and loss of tissue, consistent with MRI, as well as glial scar formation and macrophage infiltration.

Conclusions: The MCAO procedure led to significant and consistent strokes with high survivability. These results suggest that the pig model is potentially a robust system for the study of stroke pathophysiology and potential diagnostics and therapeutics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/2040-7378-6-5DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3977938PMC
March 2014