Administration of Fatty Acid Emulsions to Reduce Secondary Brain Injury in Mice




Rodgers, Clifford

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BACKGROUND: Mild traumatic brain injuries are the most common type of injury to the head. Seventy-five to eighty percent of all traumatic brain injuries (TBI) are considered a mild TBI, or concussions, and involve only a short interruption of mental state and consciousness. Although the FDA reports no nutrition supplements for TBI therapy and/or symptom prevention, preclinical data has suggested that omega-3 poly unsaturated fatty acid (PUFAs) treatment decreases apoptosis, inflammation, and neurodegeneration following brain trauma. In this study, we hypothesized that Smoflipid® reduces inflammation in the brain of adult mice that have suffered a mild-to-moderate brain injury. Smoflipid® is an injectable liquid emulsion solution that contains omega-3, omega-6, omega-9, and medium chain triglycerides. METHODS: In this study, mice were subjected to a moderate brain injury using the controlled skull impact device (Leica microsystems) and we administered Smoflipid® intraperitoneally at day 1 and 3 after injury. At Day 14 after injury and treatment the mouse brains were harvested, processed, and stained using immunohistochemistry for the inflammatory markers, glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP) and Iba1. RESULTS: In this study after TBI, within the corpus callosum (C.C.) and cerebral cortex there was a significant increase in the levels of activated microglia (Day 14 p=0.05) compared to the control animals. Treatment with Smoflipid® shortly after injury, resulted in a significant decrease in the number of active microglia within these brain regions. CONCLUSIONS: Chronic activation of microglia and heightened inflammation in the cerebral cortex/C.C. after TBI, results in cognitive decline and long-term memory deficits. As a therapeutic strategy, by targeting these pro-inflammatory cells with Smoflipid®, we hypothesize that a reduction in the activity of microglia will improve results in better neurological outcomes. More definitive studies will be conducted to test the efficacy of Smoflipid® at reducing secondary brain injury after TBI.

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The 56th Annual Medical Student Research Forum at UT Southwestern Medical Center (Tuesday, January 23, 2018, 2-5 p.m., D1.600)

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Rodgers, C., Chowdary, A., Liu, M., Carlson, D., Wolf, S. E., Minei, J. P., & Gatson, J. (2018, January 23). Administration of fatty acid emulsions to reduce secondary brain injury in mice. Poster session presented at the 56th Annual Medical Student Research Forum, Dallas, TX. Retrieved from

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