Biomedicines, Vol. 10, Pages 32: Prophylactic Activation of Shh Signaling Attenuates TBI-Induced Seizures in Zebrafish by Modulating Glutamate Excitotoxicity through Eaat2a

Biomedicines doi: 10.3390/biomedicines10010032

James Hentig
Leah J. Campbell
Kaylee Cloghessy
Mijoon Lee
William Boggess
David R. Hyde

Approximately 2 million individuals experience a traumatic brain injury (TBI) every year in the United States. Secondary injury begins within minutes after TBI, with alterations in cellular function and chemical signaling that contribute to excitotoxicity. Post-traumatic seizures (PTS) are experienced in an increasing number of TBI individuals that also display resistance to traditional anti-seizure medications (ASMs). Sonic hedgehog (Shh) is a signaling pathway that is upregulated following central nervous system damage in zebrafish and aids injury-induced regeneration. Using a modified Marmarou weight drop on adult zebrafish, we examined PTS following TBI and Shh modulation. We found that inhibiting Shh signaling by cyclopamine significantly increased PTS in TBI fish, prolonged the timeframe PTS was observed, and decreased survival across all TBI severities. Shh-inhibited TBI fish failed to respond to traditional ASMs, but were attenuated when treated with CNQX, which blocks ionotropic glutamate receptors. We found that the Smoothened agonist, purmorphamine, increased Eaat2a expression in undamaged brains compared to untreated controls, and purmorphamine treatment reduced glutamate excitotoxicity following TBI. Similarly, purmorphamine reduced PTS, edema, and cognitive deficits in TBI fish, while these pathologies were increased and/or prolonged in cyclopamine-treated TBI fish. However, the increased severity of TBI phenotypes with cyclopamine was reduced by cotreating fish with ceftriaxone, which induces Eaat2a expression. Collectively, these data suggest that Shh signaling induces Eaat2a expression and plays a role in regulating TBI-induced glutamate excitotoxicity and TBI sequelae.

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