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Exp Neurol. 2005 May;193(1):125-30.

Regional distribution of fluoro-jade B staining in the hippocampus following traumatic brain injury.

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  • 1Sanders-Brown Center on Aging and Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY 40536, USA.


Fluoro-Jade B (FJB) is an anionic fluorescein derivative that has been reported to specifically stain degenerating neurons. We were interested in applying FJB staining in a well-characterized model of traumatic brain injury (TBI) in order to estimate the total number of neurons in different regions of the hippocampus that die after a mild or moderate injury. Rats were subjected to a mild or moderate unilateral cortical contusion (1.0- or 1.5-mm displacement from the cortical surface) with a controlled cortical impacting device. Animals were allowed to survive for 1, 2, or 7 days and the total number of FJB-positive neurons in hippocampal areas CA1, CA3, and the dentate gyrus granule layer was estimated using sterological methods. The region that had the highest number of FJP-positive neurons after TBI was the dentate gyrus. In both 1- and 1.5-mm injuries, FJB-positive granule cells were observed throughout the rostro-caudal extent of the dentate. In contrast, labeled pyramidal neurons of area CA3 were most numerous after the 1.5-mm injury. The area that had the fewest number of FJB-labeled cells was area CA1 with only scattered neurons seen in the 1.5-mm group. In both injury groups and in all hippocampal regions, more FJB-positive neurons were seen at the earlier times post injury (1 and 2 days) than at 7 days. FJB appears to be a reliable marker for neuronal vulnerability following TBI.

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