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Serum levels of tau protein increase according to the severity of the injury in DAI rat model

Citation

Tomita, Keisuke et al. (2020), Serum levels of tau protein increase according to the severity of the injury in DAI rat model, Dryad, Dataset, https://doi.org/10.5061/dryad.3r2280gc9

Abstract

Traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the form of diffuse axonal injury (DAI) is difficult to diagnose in the early phase of the injury. Early diagnosis of DAI may provide opportunity for developing treatment and management strategies. Tau protein has been demonstrated to increase in the early phase of TBI with high diagnostic accuracy in patients with DAI. We tested the biological plausibility of tau protein using a rat DAI model by evaluating the association between serum tau levels and the severity of brain injury. DAI was induced in animals using the Marmarou model. After a survival of 60 minutes, rats were anesthetized and sacrificed after obtaining blood samples (5ml) from the heart. Eighteen rats were employed in the present study and were randomly subjected to sham-operated control (n=4), mild DAI (n=7), and severe DAI (n=7). Of seven severe DAI rats, two rats that had focal injury caused by skull fracture were excluded in the measurement of tau protein level. The serum levels of tau protein in the rat DAI model were found to increase significantly and consistently according to the severity of the injury. Rats with DAI showed significantly higher serum levels of tau protein compared to sham rats; the severe DAI rats had higher levels of tau than moderate DAI and sham rats (sham vs. mild, P=0.02; mild vs. severe, P=0.02). In conclusion, serum tau protein levels may be useful as a biomarker for diagnosing and estimating the severity of DAI in the early phase.