Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
4301 Jones Bridge Road
Bethesda, Maryland 20814
Despite the appearance of health, individuals that have recovered from mTBI may be susceptible to worse outcome after a subsequent second injury and may even result in sudden coma or death. Recently, it has been determined that the adaptive immune system can respond and develop memory to CNS injury and activate production of autoantibodies with pathogenic potential. However, the precise response and contribution of memory immune responses in pathogenesis after repeated mTBI events has not been investigated. Our laboratory focuses on the role of memory components of the adaptive immune system in mTBI. We are currently defining a role of memory lymphocyte generation on neuroinflammation and injury outcome in a model of repeated mTBI. Systems biology level evaluation of brain, spleen, lymph node, and peripheral blood lymphocyte populations are accomplished using multi-dimensional flow cytometry, complete transcriptome analysis by RNA-seq, and multiplex ELISA analysis of in vitro lymphocyte restimulation assays. In vitro lymphocyte cultures from experimental subjects are being utilized for identification of brain-associated immunogenic antigens in repeated mTBI. Since T and B lymphocytes have both potential neuroprotective and neuropathogenic roles, elucidating the response of the adaptive immune system to mTBI is of importance to develop preclinical strategies to improve neurological recovery after repeated injury.