Research Reports - Location and level of Etk expression in neurons are associated with varied severity of traumatic brain injury

PLoS One. 2012;7(6):e39226. Epub 2012 Jun 18

Wu JC, Chen KY, Yu YW, Huang SW, Shih HM, Chiu WT, Chiang YH, Shiau CY

BACKGROUND: Much recent research effort in traumatic brain injury (TBI) has been
devoted to the discovery of a reliable biomarker correlating with severity of
injury. Currently, no consensus has been reached regarding a representative
marker for traumatic brain injury. In this study, we explored the potential of
epithelial/endothelial tyrosine kinase (Etk) as a novel marker for TBI.
METHODOLOGY/PRINCIPAL FINDINGS: TBI was induced in Sprague Dawley (SD) rats by
controlled cortical impact. Brain tissue samples were analyzed by Western blot,
Q-PCR, and immunofluorescence staining using various markers including glial
fibrillary acidic protein, and epithelial/endothelial tyrosine kinase (Etk).
Results show increased Etk expression with increased number and severity of
impacts. Expression increased 2.36 to 7-fold relative to trauma severity.
Significant upregulation of Etk appeared at 1 hour after injury. The expression
level of Etk was inversely correlated with distance from injury site. Etk and
trauma/inflammation related markers increased post-TBI, while other tyrosine
kinases did not.
CONCLUSION/SIGNIFICANCE: The observed correlation between Etk level and the
number of impacts, the severity of impact, and the time course after impact, as
well as its inverse correlation with distance away from injury site, support the
potential of Etk as a possible indicator of trauma severity.

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