Display Settings:


Send to:

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Shock. 2013 Dec;40(6):471-5. doi: 10.1097/SHK.0000000000000037.

Interleukin 6 mediates neuroinflammation and motor coordination deficits after mild traumatic brain injury and brief hypoxia in mice.

Author information

  • 1Department of Surgery, Institute for Military Medicine, University of Cincinnati, Cincinnati, Ohio.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a leading cause of mortality and disability. Acute postinjury insults after TBI, such as hypoxia, contribute to secondary brain injury and worse clinical outcomes. The functional and neuroinflammatory effects of brief episodes of hypoxia experienced following TBI have not been evaluated. Our previous studies have identified interleukin 6 (IL-6) as a potential mediator of mild TBI-induced pathology. In the present study, we sought to determine the effects of brief hypoxia on mild TBI and whether IL-6 played a role in the neuroinflammatory and functional deficits after injury. A murine model of mild TBI was induced by a weight drop (500 g from 1.5 cm). After injury, mice were exposed to immediate hypoxia (FIO2 = 15.1%) or normoxia (FIO2 = 21%) for 30 min. Serum and brain samples were analyzed for inflammatory cytokines 24 h after TBI. Neuron-specific enolase was measured as a serum biomarker of brain injury. Evaluation of motor coordination was performed for 5 days after TBI using a rotarod device. In some animals, anti-IL-6 was administered following TBI and hypoxia to neutralize systemic IL-6. Mice undergoing TBI had significant increases in brain injury. Exposure to brief hypoxia after TBI resulted in a more than 5-fold increase in serum neuron-specific enolase. This increase was associated with increases in serum and brain cytokine expression, suggesting that brief hypoxia exacerbates systemic and brain inflammation. Neutralization of IL-6 suppressed postinjury neuroinflammation and neuronal injury. In addition, TBI and hypoxia induced significant motor coordination deficits that were completely abrogated by IL-6 blockade. Exposure to hypoxia after TBI induces neuroinflammation and brain injury. These changes can be mitigated by neutralization of systemic IL-6. Interleukin 6 blockade also corrected the TBI-induced deficit in motor coordination. These data suggest that systemic IL-6 modulates the degree of neuroinflammation and contributes to reduced motor coordination after mild TBI.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Icon for Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Write to the Help Desk