Inhibition of Transforming Growth Factor-β Attenuates Brain Injury and Neurological Deficits in a Rat Model of Germinal Matrix Hemorrhage
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Background and Purpose—Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) overproduction and activation of the TGF-β pathway are associated with the development of brain injury following germinal matrix hemorrhage (GMH) in premature infants. We examined the effects of GMH on the level of TGF-β1 in a novel rat collagenase-induced GMH model and determined the effect of inhibition of the TGF receptor I.
Methods—In total, 92 seven-day old (P7) rats were used. Time-dependent effects of GMH on the level of TGF-β1 and TGF receptor I were evaluated by Western blot. A TGF receptor I inhibitor (SD208) was administered daily for 3 days, starting either 1 hour or 3 days after GMH induction. The effects of GMH and SD208 on the TGF-β pathway were evaluated by Western blot at day 3. The effects of GMH and SD208 on cognitive and motor function were also assessed. The effects of TGF receptor I inhibition by SD208 on GMH-induced brain injury and underlying molecular pathways were investigated by Western blot, immunofluorescence, and morphology studies 24 days after GMH.
Results—GMH induced significant delay in development, caused impairment in both cognitive and motor functions, and resulted in brain atrophy in rat subjects. GMH also caused deposition of both vitronectin (an extracellular matrix protein) and glial fibrillary acidic protein in perilesion areas, associated with development of hydrocephalus. SD208 ameliorated GMH-induced developmental delay, improved cognitive and motor functions, and attenuated body weight loss. SD208 also decreased vitronectin and glial fibrillary acidic protein deposition and decreased GMH-induced brain injury.
Conclusions—Increased level of TGF-β1 and activation of the TGF-β pathway associate with the development of brain injury after GMH. SD208 inhibits GMH-induced activation of the TGF-β pathway and leads to an improved developmental profile, partial recovery of cognitive and motor functions, and attenuation of GMH-induced brain atrophy and hydrocephalus.
- Received October 10, 2013.
- Revision received November 22, 2013.
- Accepted November 26, 2013.
- © 2014 American Heart Association, Inc.