Primary Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury in Rats Leads to Increased Prion Protein in Plasma – A Potential Biomarker for Blast-Induced Traumatic Brain Injury


  1. Pham, N.
  2. Sawyer, T.W.
  3. Wang, Y.
  4. Jazii, F.R.
  5. Vair, C.
  6. Taghibiglou, C.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Suffield Research Centre, Ralston AB (CAN)
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is deemed the ‘‘signature injury’’ of recent military conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq, largely because of increased blast exposure. Injuries to the brain can often be misdiagnosed, leading to further complications in the future. Therefore, the use of protein biomarkers for the screening and diagnosis of TBI is urgently needed. In the present study, we have investigated the plasma levels of soluble cellular prion protein (PrPC) as a novel biomarker for the diagnosis of primary blast-induced TBI (bTBI). We hypothesize that the primary blast wave can disrupt the brain and dislodge extracellular localized PrPC, leading to a rise in concentration within the systemic circulation. Adult male Sprague–Dawley rats were exposed to single pulse shockwave overpressures of varying intensities (15-30 psi or 103.4– 206.8 kPa] using an advanced blast simulator. Blood plasma was collected 24 h after insult, and PrPC concentration was determined with a modified commercial enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) specific for PrPC. We provide the first report that mean PrPC concentration in primary blast exposed rats (3.97 ng/mL±0.13 SE) is significantly increased compared with controls (2.46 ng/mL±0.14 SE; two tailed test p < 0.0001). Furthermore, we report a mild positive rank correlation between PrPC concentration and increasing blast intensity (psi) reflecting a plateaued response at higher pressure magnitudes, which may have implications for all
primary blast;traumatic brain injury;neuroprotection;biomarkers
Report Number
DRDC-RDDC-2015-P004 — External Literature
Date of publication
16 Mar 2015
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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