The longitudinal biochemical profiling of TBI in a drop weight model of TBI

Ali Yilmaz, Sigal Liraz-Zaltsman, Esther Shohami, Juozas Gordevičius, Ieva Kerševičiūtė, Eric Sherman, Ray O. Bahado-Singh, Stewart F. Graham*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a major cause of mortality and disability worldwide, particularly among individuals under the age of 45. It is a complex, and heterogeneous disease with a multifaceted pathophysiology that remains to be elucidated. Metabolomics has the potential to identify metabolic pathways and unique biochemical profiles associated with TBI. Herein, we employed a longitudinal metabolomics approach to study TBI in a weight drop mouse model to reveal metabolic changes associated with TBI pathogenesis, severity, and secondary injury. Using proton nuclear magnetic resonance (1H NMR) spectroscopy, we biochemically profiled post-mortem brain from mice that suffered mild TBI (N = 25; 13 male and 12 female), severe TBI (N = 24; 11 male and 13 female) and sham controls (N = 16; 11 male and 5 female) at baseline, day 1 and day 7 following the injury. 1H NMR-based metabolomics, in combination with bioinformatic analyses, highlights a few significant metabolites associated with TBI severity and perturbed metabolism related to the injury. We report that the concentrations of taurine, creatinine, adenine, dimethylamine, histidine, N-Acetyl aspartate, and glucose 1-phosphate are all associated with TBI severity. Longitudinal metabolic observation of brain tissue revealed that mild TBI and severe TBI lead distinct metabolic profile changes. A multi-class model was able to classify the severity of injury as well as time after TBI with estimated 86% accuracy. Further, we identified a high degree of correlation between respective hemisphere metabolic profiles (r > 0.84, p < 0.05, Pearson correlation). This study highlights the metabolic changes associated with underlying TBI severity and secondary injury. While comprehensive, future studies should investigate whether: (a) the biochemical pathways highlighted here are recapitulated in the brain of TBI sufferers and (b) if the panel of biomarkers are also as effective in less invasively harvested biomatrices, for objective and rapid identification of TBI severity and prognosis.

Original languageAmerican English
Article number22260
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - 14 Dec 2023

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