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Modulation of Post-Traumatic Immune Response Using the IL-1 Receptor Antagonist Anakinra for Improved Visual Outcomes.

TitleModulation of Post-Traumatic Immune Response Using the IL-1 Receptor Antagonist Anakinra for Improved Visual Outcomes.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2020
AuthorsEvans, Lucy P., Woll Addison W., Wu Shu, Todd Brittany P., Hehr Nicole, Hedberg-Buenz Adam, Anderson Michael G., Newell Elizabeth A., Ferguson Polly J., Mahajan Vinit B., Harper Matthew M., and Bassuk Alexander G.
JournalJ Neurotrauma
Date Published2020 Mar 16

The purpose of this study was to characterize acute changes in inflammatory pathways in the mouse eye after blast-mediated traumatic brain injury (bTBI) and to determine whether modulation of these pathways could protect the structure and function of retinal ganglion cells (RGC). The bTBI was induced in C57BL/6J male mice by exposure to three 20 psi blast waves directed toward the head with the body shielded, with an inter-blast interval of one hour. Acute cytokine expression in retinal tissue was measured through reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) four hours post-blast. Increased retinal expression of ( and was observed in bTBI mice exposed to blast when compared with shams, which was associated with activation of microglia and macroglia reactivity, assessed via immunohistochemistry with ionized calcium binding adaptor molecule 1 and glial fibrillary acidic protein, respectively, one week post-blast. Blockade of the IL-1 pathway was accomplished using anakinra, an IL-1RI antagonist, administered intra-peritoneally for one week before injury and continuing for three weeks post-injury. Retinal function and RGC layer thickness were evaluated four weeks post-injury using pattern electroretinogram (PERG) and optical coherence tomography (OCT), respectively. After bTBI, anakinra treatment resulted in a preservation of RGC function and RGC structure when compared with saline treated bTBI mice. Optic nerve integrity analysis demonstrated a trend of decreased damage suggesting that IL-1 blockade also prevents axonal damage after blast. Blast exposure results in increased retinal inflammation including upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines and activation of resident microglia and macroglia. This may explain partially the RGC loss we observed in this model, as blockade of the acute inflammatory response after injury with the IL-1R1 antagonist anakinra resulted in preservation of RGC function and RGC layer thickness.

Alternate JournalJ. Neurotrauma
PubMed ID32056479
Grant ListT32 GM007337 / GM / NIGMS NIH HHS / United States