PKC activator therapeutic for mild traumatic brain injury in mice

Ofer Zohar, Rotem Lavy, Xiaomei Zi, Thomas J. Nelson, Jarin Hongpaisan, Chaim G. Pick, D. L. Alkon

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Traumatic brain injury (TBI) is a frequent consequence of vehicle, sport and war related injuries. More than 90% of TBI patients suffer mild injury (mTBI). However, the pathologies underlying the disease are poorly understood and treatment modalities are limited. We report here that in mice, the potent PKC activator bryostatin1 protects against mTBI induced learning and memory deficits and reduction in pre-synaptic synaptophysin and post-synaptic spinophylin immunostaining. An effective treatment has to start within the first 8. h after injury, and includes 5× i.p. injections over a period of 14. days. The treatment is dose dependent. Exploring the effects of the repeated bryostatin1 treatment on the processing of the amyloid precursor protein, we found that the treatment induced an increase in the putative α-secretase ADAM10 and a reduction in β-secretase activities. Both these effects could contribute towards a reduction in β-amyloid production. These results suggest that bryostatin1 protects against mTBI cognitive and synaptic sequela by rescuing synapses, which is possibly mediated by an increase in ADAM10 and a decrease in BACE1 activity. Since bryostatin1 has already been extensively used in clinical trials as an anti-cancer drug, its potential as a remedy for the short- and long-term TBI sequelae is quite promising.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)329-337
Number of pages9
JournalNeurobiology of Disease
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2011


  • ADAM10
  • BACE1
  • Cognitive deficits
  • Dose dependent
  • Mild traumatic brain injury
  • Synaptic structures
  • Therapeutic
  • Time frame


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