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Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2005 Jun 7;102(23):8333-8. Epub 2005 May 27.

Cell cycle inhibition provides neuroprotection and reduces glial proliferation and scar formation after traumatic brain injury.

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Department of Neuroscience, Georgetown University School of Medicine, 3900 Reservoir Road NW, Washington, DC 20057, USA.


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes neuronal apoptosis, inflammation, and reactive astrogliosis, which contribute to secondary tissue loss, impaired regeneration, and associated functional disabilities. Here, we show that up-regulation of cell cycle components is associated with caspase-mediated neuronal apoptosis and glial proliferation after TBI in rats. In primary neuronal and astrocyte cultures, cell cycle inhibition (including the cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitors flavopiridol, roscovitine, and olomoucine) reduced up-regulation of cell cycle proteins, limited neuronal cell death after etoposide-induced DNA damage, and attenuated astrocyte proliferation. After TBI in rats, flavopiridol reduced cyclin D1 expression in neurons and glia in ipsilateral cortex and hippocampus. Treatment also decreased neuronal cell death and lesion volume, reduced astroglial scar formation and microglial activation, and improved motor and cognitive recovery. The ability of cell cycle inhibition to decrease both neuronal cell death and reactive gliosis after experimental TBI suggests that this treatment approach may be useful clinically.

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