Corpus Callosum Vasculature Predicts White Matter Microstructure Abnormalities after Pediatric Mild Traumatic Brain Injury

Kara M. Wendel, Jeong Bin Lee, Bethann M. Affeldt, Mary Hamer, Indira S. Harahap-Carrillo, Andrea Catalina Pardo, Andre Obenaus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Emerging data suggest that pediatric traumatic brain injury (TBI) is associated with impaired developmental plasticity and poorer neuropsychological outcomes than adults with similar head injuries. Unlike adult mild TBI (mTBI), the effects of mTBI on white matter (WM) microstructure and vascular supply are not well understood in the pediatric population. The cerebral vasculature plays an important role providing necessary nutrients and removing waste. To address this critical element, we examined the microstructure of the corpus callosum (CC) following pediatric mTBI using diffusion tensor magnetic resonance imaging (DTI), and investigated myelin, oligodendrocytes, and vasculature of WM with immunohistochemistry (IHC). We hypothesized that pediatric mTBI leads to abnormal WM microstructure and impacts the vasculature within the CC, and that these alterations to WM vasculature contribute to the long-term altered microstructure. We induced in mice a closed-head injury (CHI) mTBI at post-natal day (P) 14; then at 4, 14, and 60 days post-injury (DPI) mice were sacrificed for analysis. We observed persistent changes in apparent diffusion coefficient (ADC) within the ipsilateral CC following mTBI, indicating microstructural changes, but surprisingly changes in myelin and oligodendrocyte densities were minimal. However, vascular features of the ipsilateral CC such as vessel density, length, and number of junctions were persistently altered following mTBI. Correlative analysis showed a strong inverse relationship between ADC and vessel density at 60 DPI, suggesting increased vessel density following mTBI may restrict WM diffusion characteristics. Our findings suggest that WM vasculature contributes to the long-term microstructural changes within the ipsilateral CC following mTBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)152-164
Number of pages13
JournalJournal of Neurotrauma
Issue number1
Early online dateJul 23 2018
StatePublished - Jan 1 2019


  • blood vessel
  • closed-head injury
  • concussion
  • diffusion tensor imaging
  • myelin
  • oligodendrocytes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Clinical Neurology


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