Research Reports - Glucose administration after traumatic brain injury exerts some benefits and no adverse effects on behavioral outcomes

Brain Res. 2015 Apr 21

Shijo K(1), Ghavim S(2), Harris NG(3), Hovda DA(4), Sutton RL(5)

The impact of hyperglycemia after traumatic brain injury (TBI), and even the
administration of glucose-containing solutions to head injured patients, remains
controversial. In the current study adult male Sprague-Dawley rats were tested on
behavioral tasks and then underwent surgery to induce sham injury or unilateral
controlled cortical impact (CCI) injury followed by injections (i.p.) with either
a 50% glucose solution (Glc; 2g/kg) or an equivalent volume of either 0.9% or 8%
saline (Sal) at 0, 1, 3 and 6h post-injury. The type of saline treatment did not
significantly affect any outcome measures, so these data were combined. Rats with
CCI had significant deficits in beam-walking traversal time and rating scores
(p׳s<0.001 versus sham) that recovered over test sessions from 1 to 13 days
post-injury (p׳s<0.001), but these beam-walking deficits were not affected by Glc
versus Sal treatments. Persistent post-CCI deficits in forelimb contraflexion
scores and forelimb tactile placing ability were also not differentially affected
by Glc or Sal treatments. However, deficits in latency to retract the right hind
limb after limb extension were significantly attenuated in the CCI-Glc group
(p<0.05 versus CCI-Sal). Both CCI groups were significantly impaired in a plus
maze test of spatial working memory on days 4, 9 and 14 post-surgery (p<0.001
versus sham), and there was no effect of Glc versus Sal on this cognitive outcome
measure. At 15 days post-surgery the loss of cortical tissue volume (p<0.001
versus sham) was significantly less in the CCI-Glc group (30.0%; p<0.05) compared
to the CCI-Sal group (35.7%). Counts of surviving hippocampal hilar neurons
revealed a significant (~40%) loss ipsilateral to CCI (p<0.001 versus sham), but
neuronal loss in the hippocampus was not different in the CCI-Sal and CCI-Glc
groups. Taken together, these results indicate that an early elevation of blood
glucose may improve some neurological outcomes and, importantly, the induction of
hyperglycemia after isolated TBI did not adversely affect any sensorimotor,
cognitive or histological outcomes.

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