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J Neurotrauma. 2013 Nov 15;30(22):1881-7. doi: 10.1089/neu.2012.2758. Epub 2013 Oct 4.

Impact of moderate blast exposures on thrombin biomarkers assessed by calibrated automated thrombography in rats.

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1 Banyan Laboratories , Inc., Alachua, Florida.


Severe blast exposures are frequently complicated with fatal intracranial hemorrhages. However, many more sustain low level blasts without tissue damage detectable by brain imaging. To investigate effects of nonlethal blast on thrombin-related biomarkers, rats were subjected to two different types of head-directed blast: 1) moderate "composite" blast with strong head acceleration or 2) moderate primary blast, without head acceleration. Thrombin generation (TG) ex vivo after blast was studied by calibrated automated thrombography (CAT). In the same blood samples, we assessed maximal concentration of TG (TGmax), start time, peak time, mean time, and concentrations of protein markers for vascular/hemostatic dysfunctions: integrin α/β, soluble endothelial selectin (sE-selectin), soluble intercellular cell adhesion molecule-1 (sICAM-1), and matrix metalloproteinases (MMP)-2, MMP-8, and MMP-13. Blast remarkably affected all TG indices. In animals exposed to "composite" blast, TGmax peaked at 6 h (∼4.5-fold vs. control), sustained at day 1 (∼3.8-fold increase), and declined to a 2-fold increase over control at day 7 post-blast. After primary blast, TGmax also rose to ∼4.2-fold of control at 6 h, dropped to ∼1.7-fold of control at day 1, and then exhibited a slight secondary increase at 2-fold of control at day 7. Other TG indices did not differ significantly between two types of blast exposure. The changes were also observed in other microvascular/inflammatory/hemostatic biomarkers. Integrin α/β and sICAM-1 levels were elevated after both "composite" and primary blast at 6 h, 1 day, and 7 days. sE-selectin exhibited near normal levels after "composite" blast, but increased significantly at 7 days after primary blast; MMP-2, MMP-8, and MMP-13 slightly rose after "composite" blast and significantly increased (∼2-4-fold) after primary blast. In summary, CAT may have a clinical diagnostic utility in combination with selected set of microvascular/inflammatory biomarkers in patients subjected to low/moderate level blast exposures.

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