Science has been in search of objective measures for brain injury. We’re hoping to get them as interested in actually healing brain wounds.
Identification of chronic brain protein changes and protein targets of serum auto-antibodies after blast-mediated traumatic brain injury
In addition to needing acute emergency management, blast-mediated traumatic brain injury (TBI) is also a chronic disorder with delayed-onset symptoms that manifest and progress over time. While the immediate consequences of acute blast injuries are readily apparent, chronic sequelae are harder to recognize. Indeed, the identification of individuals with mild-TBI or TBI-induced symptoms is greatly impaired in large part due to the lack of objective and robust biomarkers. The purpose of this study was to address these need by identifying candidates for serum based biomarkers of blast TBI, and also to identify unique or differentially regulated protein expression in the thalamus in C57BL/6J mice exposed to blast using high throughput qualitative screens of protein expression. To identify thalamic proteins differentially or uniquely associated with blast exposure, we utilized an antibody-based affinity-capture strategy (referred to as “proteomics-based analysis of depletomes”; PAD) to deplete thalamic lysates from blast-treated mice of endogenous thalamic proteins also found in control mice. Analysis of this “depletome” detected 75 unique proteins, many with associations to the myelin sheath. To identify blast associated proteins eliciting production of circulating autoantibodies, serum antibodies of blast-treated mice were immobilized, and their immunogens subsequently identified by proteomic analysis of proteins specifically captured following incubation with thalamic lysates (a variant of a strategy referred to as “proteomics-based expression library screening”; PELS). This analysis identified 46 blast-associated immunogenic proteins, including 6 shared in common with the PAD analysis (ALDOA, PHKB, HBA-A1, DPYSL2, SYN1, and CKB). These proteins and their autoantibodies are appropriate for further consideration as biomarkers of blast-mediated TBI.