Repeated mild traumatic brain injury results in long-term white-matter disruption

Virginia Donovan, Claudia Kim, Ariana K. Anugerah, Jacqueline S. Coats, Udochuwku Oyoyo, Andrea C. Pardo, Andre Obenaus*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

63 Scopus citations


Mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) is an increasing public health concern as repetitive injuries can exacerbate existing neuropathology and result in increased neurologic deficits. In contrast to other models of repeated mTBI (rmTBI), our study focused on long-term white-matter abnormalities after bilateral mTBIs induced 7 days apart. A controlled cortical impact (CCI) was used to induce an initial mTBI to the right cortex of Single and rmTBI Sprague Dawley rats, followed by a second injury to the left cortex of rmTBI animals. Shams received only a craniectomy. Ex vivo diffusion tensor imaging (DTI), transmission electron microscopy (TEM), and histology were performed on the anterior corpus callosum at 60 days after injury. The rmTBI animals showed a significant bilateral increase in radial diffusivity (myelin), while only modest changes in axial diffusivity (axonal) were seen between the groups. Further, the rmTBI group showed an increased g-ratio and axon caliber in addition to myelin sheath abnormalities using TEM. Our DTI results indicate ongoing myelin changes, while the TEM data show continuing axonal changes at 60 days after rmTBI. These data suggest that bilateral rmTBI induced 7 days apart leads to progressive alterations in white matter that are not observed after a single mTBI.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)715-723
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Cerebral Blood Flow and Metabolism
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2014


  • Axon caliber
  • Bilateral injury
  • Corpus callosum
  • Diffusion tensor imaging
  • Myelin

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neurology
  • Clinical Neurology
  • Cardiology and Cardiovascular Medicine


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