Send to

Choose Destination
Am J Pathol. 1995 Dec;147(6):1575-83.

Evidence of apoptotic cell death after experimental traumatic brain injury in the rat.

Author information

Department of Neurosurgery, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia 19104-6316, USA.


Apoptosis plays an important role in many developmental and pathological processes of the central nervous system. However, the role of apoptosis in traumatic brain injury has not been determined. Using the terminal deoxynucleotidyl transferase-mediated biotinylated deoxyuridine triphosphate nick end labeling (TUNEL) method, we detected many cells with extensive DNA fragmentation in different regions of the brains of rats subjected to experimental traumatic brain injury. Two types of TUNEL-positive cells were demonstrated by light and electron microscopy, including type I cells that displayed morphological features of necrotic cell death and type II cells that displayed morphological features of classic apoptotic cell death. TUNEL-positive cells were detectable for up to 72 hours after the initial injury. Gel electrophoresis of DNA extracted from affected areas of the injured brain containing both type I and II cells revealed only internucleosomal fragmentation at 185-bp intervals, a feature originally described in apoptotic cell death. These data suggest that apoptosis, in addition to necrotic cell death, occurs after traumatic brain injury, and that internucleosomal fragmentation of DNA may be associated with certain types of necrotic cell death.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for PubMed Central
Loading ...
Support Center