Ultrastructural damages in the brain induced by low-intensity primary blast wave : a transmission electron microscopy study on mild traumatic brain injury
[ACCESS RESTRICTED TO THE UNIVERSITY OF MISSOURI AT AUTHOR'S REQUEST.] Explosive blast-induced mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI), a "signature wound" of recent military conflicts, commonly affects Service Members. While past blast injury studies have provided insights into TBI with moderate-to high-intensity explosions, the impact of primary low-intensity blast (LIB)-mediated pathobiology on neurological deficits requires further investigation. Our prior considerations of blast physics predicted ultrastructural injuries at nanoscale levels. Here, using transmission electron microscopy, we examined the fine structure of neuroglial cells from our mouse model induced by open-field low-intensity blast exposure at two succinct time-points (one week and one-month post injury). We observed and quantified myelin sheath defects, microtubule disruptions, mitochondrial abnormalities at 7 and 30 DPI. Additionally, we found quantitative changes in the asymmetric synapses in the different brain sub-regions. These observations unveiled unique ultrastructural brain abnormalities due to primary blast injury and provide insights into pathogenesis and potential avenues of prevention and treatment of blast-induced mTBI.
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