Transcriptomic Analysis of Gene Expression and Effect of Electromagnetic Field in Brain Tissue after Traumatic Brain Injury

Author(s): Vikrant Rai, Yssel Mendoza-Mari, James Brazdzionis, Mohamed M Radwan, David A Connett, Dan E Miulli, Devendra K Agrawal

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) due to a direct blow or penetrating injury to the head damages the brain tissue and affects brain function. Primary and secondary damage to the brain tissue increases disability, morbidity, and mortality and costs millions of dollars in treatment. Injury to the brain tissue results in the activation of various inflammatory and repair pathways involving many cellular and molecular factors. Increased infiltration of immune cells to clear the debris and lesion healing, activation of Schwann cells, myelination, oligodendrocyte formation, and axonal regeneration occur after TBI to regenerate the tissue. However, secondary damage to brain tissue results in behavioral symptoms. Repair and regeneration are regulated by a complex cascade involving various cells, hormones, and proteins. A change in the expression of various proteins due to altered gene expression may be the cause of impaired repair and the sequelae in TBI. In this pilot study, we used a Yucatan miniswine model of TBI with and without electromagnetic field (EMF) stimulation and investigated the differential gene expression between injured and non-injured cortex tissues. We found several differentially expressed genes including INSC, TTR, CFAP126, SEMA3F, CALB1, CDH19, and SERPINE1. These genes are associated with immune cell infiltration, myelination, reactive oxygen species regulation, thyroid hormone transportation, cell proliferation, and cell migration. There was a time-dependent effect of EMF stimulation on the gene and protein expression. The findings support the beneficial effect of EMF stimulation in the repair process following TBI.

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