• α-spectrin;
  • calpain;
  • lipid peroxidation;
  • traumatic brain injury;
  • U-83836E

J. Neurochem. (2011) 117, 579–588.


Free radical-induced lipid peroxidation (LP) is critical in the evolution of secondary injury following traumatic brain injury (TBI). Previous studies in our laboratory demonstrated that U-83836E, a potent LP inhibitor, can reduce post-TBI LP along with an improved maintenance of mouse cortical mitochondrial bioenergetics and calcium (Ca2+) buffering following severe (1.0 mm; 3.5 m/s) controlled cortical impact TBI (CCI-TBI). Based upon this preservation of a major Ca2+ homeostatic mechanism, we have now performed dose-response and therapeutic window analyses of the ability of U-83836E to reduce post-traumatic calpain-mediated cytoskeletal (α-spectrin) proteolysis in ipsilateral cortical homogenates at its 24 h post-TBI peak. In the dose-response analysis, mice were treated with a single i.v. dose of vehicle or U-83836E (0.1, 0.3, 1.3, 3.0, 10.0 or 30.0 mg/kg) at 15 min after injury. U-83836E produced a dose-related attenuation of α-spectrin degradation with the maximal decrease being achieved at 3.0 mg/kg. Next, the therapeutic window was tested by delaying the single 3 mg/kg i.v. dose from 15 min post-injury out to 1, 3, 6 or 12 h. No reduction in α-spectrin degradation was observed when the treatment delay was 1 h or longer. However, in a third experiment, we re-examined the window with repeated U-83836E dosing (3.0 mg/kg i.v. followed by 10 mg/kg i.p. maintenance doses at 1 and 3 h after the initial i.v. dose) which significantly reduced 24 h α-α-spectrin degradation even when treatment initiation was withheld until 12 h post-TBI. These results demonstrate the relationship between post-TBI LP, disruptions in neuronal Ca2+ homeostasis and calpain-mediated cytoskeletal damage.