ARTICLE | doi:10.20944/preprints202208.0244.v1
Subject: Medicine & Pharmacology, Pathology & Pathobiology Keywords: Traumatic brain injury; buprenorphine; Bup-SR-Lab; microglia; astrocyte; myelin, membrane disruption; somatosensory sensitivity
Online: 12 August 2022 (13:52:14 CEST)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major leading cause of death and disability. While previous studies regarding focal pathologies following TBI have been done, there is a lack of information concerning the role of analgesics and their influences on injury pathology. Buprenorphine (Bup), an opioid analgesic, is a commonly used analgesic in experimental TBI models. Our previous studies investigated the acute effects of Buprenorphine-sustained release-Lab (Bup-SR-Lab) on diffuse neuronal/glial pathology, neuroinflammation, cell damage, and systemic physiology. The current study investigated the longer-term chronic outcomes of Bup-SR-Lab treatment at 4 weeks following TBI utilizing a central fluid percussion injury (cFPI) model in adult male rats. Histological assessments of physiological changes, neuronal damage, cortical and thalamic cytokine expression, microglial and astrocyte morphological changes, and myelin alterations were done, as we had done in our acute study. In the current study the Whisker Nuisance Task (WNT) was also performed pre- and 4w post-injury to assess changes in somatosensory sensitivity following saline or Bup-SR-Lab treatment. Bup-SR-Lab treatment had no impact on overall physiology or neuronal damage at 4w post-injury regardless of region or injury, nor did it have any significant effects on somatosensory sensitivity. However, greater IL-4 cytokine expression with Bup-SR-Lab treatment was observed compared to saline treated animals. Microglia and astrocytes also demonstrated region-specific morphological alterations associated with Bup-SR-Lab treatment, in which cortical microglia and thalamic astrocytes were particularly vulnerable to Bup-mediated changes. There were discernable injury-specific and region-specific differences regarding myelin integrity and changes in specific myelin basic protein (MBP) isoform expression following Bup-SR-Lab treatment. This study indicates that use of Bup-SR-Lab could impact TBI-induced glial alterations in a region-specific manor 4w following diffuse brain injury.