Associate Professor University of Texas Medical Branch Galveston, Texas, United States
Objectives: An estimated 2.8 million people sustain a traumatic brain injury (TBI) in the United States each year. The neuropathologic consequences of TBI persist for years after the initial injury, and there are no current effective treatments for these ongoing issues. Here, we tested the ability of a novel, medical grade Nano Pulsed Laser Therapy (NPLT) to potentially treat these neuropathologic consequences. Transcranial Nano-Pulsed Laser Therapy (NPLT) combines near infrared (808nm) laser light with low-energy, optoacoustic waves. This study was designed to evaluate potential impacts NPLT has on total levels of microglia and proinflammatory microglia in the somatosensory cortex in a rat model of TBI.
Design: Rats were randomly assigned to receive parasagittal fluid percussion injury (FPI) or Sham craniotomy surgery. One hour later, a five minute NPLT treatment was administered transcranially. At fourteen days these animals were sacrificed and their brains were sectioned for immunohistological staining and analysis.
Results: Results demonstrated that fluid percussion injury caused a significant increase in IBA1 staining for microglia in the somatosensory cortex area surrounding the cavitation. While NPLT did not reduce IBA1-positive cells, it significantly reduced CD68-positive cells in this region.
Conclusions: In conclusion, NPLT applied one hour after injury does not reduce the number of total microglia (IBA1-positive cells), but does reduce proinflammatory microglia (CD68-positive cells) in the somatosensory cortex. This data strongly suggests that NPLT has therapeutic potential in reducing an overactive inflammatory response post-traumatic brain injury.