1. Emergency Center, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China.
2. Department of Biological Repositories, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China.
3. Hubei Clinical Research Center for Emergency and Resuscitation, Zhongnan Hospital of Wuhan University, Wuhan 430071, China.
*Rongchun Xing and Jin Cheng contributed equally to this work.
Currently, no specific and standard treatment for traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been developed. Therefore, studies on new therapeutic drugs for TBI treatment are urgently needed. Trifluoperazine (TFP) is a therapeutic agent for the treatment of psychiatric disorders that reduces edema of the central nervous system. However, the specific working mechanism of TFP is not fully understood in TBI. In this study, the immunofluorescence co-localization analysis revealed that the area and intensity covered by Aquaporin4 (AQP4) on the surface of brain cells (astrocyte endfeet) increased significantly after TBI. In contrast, TFP treatment reversed these phenomena. This finding showed that TFP inhibited AQP4 accumulation on the surface of brain cells (astrocyte endfeet). The tunel fluorescence intensity and fluorescence area were lower in the TBI+TFP group compared to the TBI group. Additionally, the brain edema, brain defect area, and modified neurological severity score (mNSS) were lower in the TBI+TFP. The RNA-seq was performed on the cortical tissues of rats in the Sham, TBI, and TBI+TFP groups. A total of 3774 genes differently expressed between the TBI and the Sham group were identified. Of these, 2940 genes were up-regulated and 834 genes were down-regulated. A total of 1845 differently expressed genes between the TBI+TFP and TBI group were also identified, in which 621 genes were up-regulated and 1224 genes were down-regulated. Analysis of the common differential genes in the three groups showed that TFP could reverse the expression of apoptosis and inflammation genes. Gene ontology (GO) and Kyoto Encyclopedia of Genes and Genomes (KEGG) enrichment analysis revealed that the differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were highly enriched in the signaling pathways regulating inflammation. In conclusion, TFP alleviates brain edema after TBI by preventing the accumulation of AQP4 on the surface of brain cells. Generally, TFP alleviates apoptosis and inflammatory response induced by TBI, and promotes the recovery of nerve function in rats after TBI. Thus, TFP is a potential therapeutic agent for TBI treatment.
Keywords: traumatic brain injury, rat cortex, trifluoperazine, AQP4, apoptosis, inflammation