Brainstem and cortical spreading depolarization in a closed head injury rat model

Refat Aboghazleh, Ellen Parker, Lynn T. Yang, Daniela Kaufer, Jens P. Dreier, Alon Friedman, Gerben van Hameren

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is the leading cause of death in young individuals, and is a major health concern that often leads to long-lasting complications. However, the electrophysiological events that occur immediately after traumatic brain injury, and may underlie impact outcomes, have not been fully elucidated. To investigate the electrophysiological events that immediately follow traumatic brain injury, a weight-drop model of traumatic brain injury was used in rats pre-implanted with epidural and intracerebral electrodes. Electrophysiological (near-direct current) recordings and simultaneous alternating current recordings of brain activity were started within seconds following impact. Cortical spreading depolarization (SD) and SD-induced spreading depression occurred in approximately 50% of mild and severe impacts. SD was recorded within three minutes after injury in either one or both brain hemispheres. Electrographic seizures were rare. While both TBI-and electrically induced SDs resulted in elevated oxidative stress, TBI-exposed brains showed a reduced antioxidant defense. In severe TBI, brainstem SD could be recorded in addition to cortical SD, but this did not lead to the death of the animals. Severe impact, however, led to immediate death in 24% of animals, and was electrocorticographically characterized by non-spreading depression (NSD) of activity followed by terminal SD in both cortex and brainstem.

Original languageEnglish
Article number11642
JournalInternational Journal of Molecular Sciences
Issue number21
StatePublished - 1 Nov 2021


  • Brainstem
  • Cortical spreading depolarization
  • Electrocorticography
  • Oxidative stress
  • Traumatic brain injury

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Catalysis
  • Molecular Biology
  • Spectroscopy
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Physical and Theoretical Chemistry
  • Organic Chemistry
  • Inorganic Chemistry


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