Vagus Nerve Stimulation Attenuates Early Traumatic Brain Injury

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Vagus Nerve Stimulation Attenuates Early Traumatic Brain Injury by Regulating the NF-κB/NLRP3 Signaling Pathway.

Abstract
BACKGROUND: Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of death and disability worldwide. Oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis are vital pathophysiological features post-TBI.
OBJECTIVES: Research has shown that vagus nerve stimulation (VNS) can attenuate oxidative stress in various diseases. However, the critical role of VNS in TBI is still not completely understood. This study investigated the protective effects and potential mechanism of VNS on TBI.
METHODS: Male Sprague-Dawley rats were randomized into 3 groups: sham, TBI, and TBI + VNS. The TBI model was induced in rats by the free-fall drop method. The vagal nerve trunk was separated, and VNS was performed after establishing the TBI model.
RESULTS: The results showed that VNS significantly ameliorated tissue damage, neurological deficits, and cerebral edema, compared with the sham VNS group. Additionally, VNS alleviated oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis in the pericontusive cortex of rats after TBI. VNS also significantly suppressed expression of the nuclear factor-κB (NF-κB) protein in the nucleus and activation of the nucleotide-binding domain-like receptor protein 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome.
CONCLUSIONS: Taken together, the present study indicates that VNS may attenuate brain damage after TBI by inhibiting oxidative stress, inflammation, and apoptosis, possibly through the NF-κB/NLRP3 signaling pathway.

PMID: 32772884 [PubMed – as supplied by publisher]

Neurorehabil Neural Repair. 2020 Aug 10;:1545968320948065

Authors: Tang Y, Dong X, Chen G, Ye W, Kang J, Tang Y, Feng Z

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